Engr. Rene Santiago, Chief Executive Officer, Bellwether Advisory Inc.
Interviewed by Dr. Ricardo T. Jose
UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy and the Third World Studies Center
14 March 2016 and 22 August 2017
Engr. Rene Santiago graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Engineering Class of 1970. He has a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Asian Institute of Technology and was one of the first to specialize in transport and urban planning in the Philippines in the 1970s.
In 1973, Engr. Santiago ended up working in the government immediately after his graduate studies. He became a part of the Planning and Project Development Office (PPDO) of the then Ministry of Public Works, Transportation, and Communication through the United Nations Development Programme-government project on the creation of the UP School of Urban Planning and training of its original faculty members. His involvement in the PPDO began in research and statistics and progressed to transportation when the PPDO became involved in the Metro Manila Transport, Land Use and Development Planning Project (MMETROPLAN) (1977). Eventually, he left government to work in the private sector (Ayala Corporation’s Corporate Planning Department); where in the duration of four years, he claims to have set from the ground up (from planning to operation) what would become one of Ayala’s biggest subsidiaries, ie, integrated microelectronics. He also claims to have had a key role in the company’s telecommunications business. Thereafter, he did consultancy work in Design and Contract Documents Engineering Corporation (DCCD).
Even after Engr. Santiago left to work for the private sector, he remained a consultant in transport projects: he was part of the study team for Metro Manila Urban Transportation Strategy and Planning Project (MMUTSTRAP) phases I and II (1983), in the JICA Update on Manila Study on Urban Transport (JUMSUT) (1984), in Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study (MMUTIS) via ALMEC (1999), in the Study on Standardization for Integrated Railway Network of Metro Manila (2001), and in the JICA Dream Plan (2013).