MEET OUR STAFF

The successes of A2D Project are driven by the creativity, commitment, and hard work of people who compose our team.   Through the leadership of our Board of Trustees, dedication of our management team, and diligence of our project staff, our organization has been able to deliver results that matter to the lives of those whom we partner with.  We invite you to learn more about the people behind A2D Project.

Everyone
ATTY. BRUCE N. RAGAS
Chair
Bruce N. Ragas is the Regional Director of the Commission on Population, Regional Population Office 7, an attached agency of the Department of Health. He is a lawyer by profession and prior his government service, he has been into private practice of law and was engaged with various non-government organizations that worked on the development issues such as human rights, environment, gender and development, reproductive health and sexual rights. Such involvement has exposed him to the intricate works of advocacy, networking and research. Aside from earning his degrees of Bachelor of Arts Major in Anthropology from the University of San Carlos and Bachelor of Laws from the University of San Jose Recoletos, Cebu City, he had been a recipient also of a Ford Foundation scholarship on the Program for Development Managers at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City, Philippines, and Hewlett Packard Foundation scholarship on the fellowship course on International Family Planning Leadership Program at the Public Health Institute through the International Health Program, Sta. Cruz, California, in collaboration with School of Public Health, Berkeley, California and Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.
ENRIQUE M. AVILA, PhD.
Secretary
A biologist and a retired associate professor and dean of college, Dr. Enrique M. Avila has worn a few good hats and worked for and with a lot of different people here and elsewhere. This adaptability to variety panned out from having attended a laboratory school during his early years to attending collegiate, graduate and post-graduate training in research universities. As practicing biologist, he communicated his research among peers and through other venues. His work with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, with a university, and with WorldFish lately, convinced him that if a structure is torn apart but the mindset that made it carries on, it is almost always certain the mindset will create another structure. What good will it bring then, if in tearing apart something, as in introducing change, the creator’s thinking pattern remains unchanged?
PATRICK Y. LIM, PH.D.
Treasurer

Patrick John Y. Lim, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of San Carlos (USC), Cebu City. He completed his bachelor’s degree at USC and earned his doctorate on synthetic inorganic and organometallics chemistry at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2000. After returning to the Philippines, he has served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry at USC from 2004 to 2011 and as a member of the Commission on Higher Education Technical Committee for Chemistry from 2007 to 2009.

He became involved in chemical safety and security through collaborations with experts from Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, culminating with his appointment to a U.S. National Academies Committee on Promoting Safe and Secure Chemical Management in Developing Countries from 2009 to 2010. His engagement in chemical safety and security included travels to Pakistan, Yemen, Thailand, and Switzerland, the last one for the IUPAC Workshop 2012 on Impacts of Scientific Development on the Chemical Weapons Convention. Currently, he serves as Editor of The Philippine Scientist, a journal published by USC Press and listed in the Zoological Record and BIOSIS Previews.

ROXANNE O. DORON.
Member

Roxanne O. Doron is a Faculty member of the University of San Carlos, School of Business and Economics and currently the Founder and Executive Director of Bisdak Pride, Inc.—a human rights organization dedicated to advance, uphold and protect the rights and responsibilities of persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). He also served as the Education Committee Head for the Coalition against Pork Barrel System, Secretariat of Cebu Archdiocesan Discernment Group and Festival Coordinator for Binisaya Film Festival – A project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Sub-commission on the Arts (Cinema).

He was part of the group of researchers on “HIV Prevention in Big Cities Project in the Philippines”, a project of Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC) and Population, Services International (PSI) funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) and “Strategic Information and Community Leadership among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) and Transgenders (TGs)”, A project of Health Action Information Network (HAIN) with support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

He is a Writer of the Daniel Magazine (Los Angeles, California), trained human rights worker and gender equality advocate.

MARIA CECILIA GASTARDO-CONACO, PH.D.
Member

Maria Cecilia C. Gastardo-Conaco is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of the Philippines Department of Psychology in Diliman, Quezon City. She obtained her Ph.D. in (social) Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara under a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship. A Rockefeller grant supported her additional training for the certificate in political psychology from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1991, she was awarded as one of the nation’s Outstanding Young Scientists by the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines.

Her research experience is broad and she has published on a variety of topics, including women’s health and sexuality, adolescent reproductive health, social identity and participation in social movements, cognitions of human rights, the psychology of poverty, cross-cultural relations, and indigenous psychology. She has done consultancy work for government and various non-governmental organizations, doing evaluation research and social impact assessments. She is also frequently invited as a resource person for research training workshops.

She currently holds the University of the Philippines Centennial Professorial Chair in Psychology for work on social psychological concepts in Filipino indigenous psychology.

ALFREDO A. ARQUILLANO, JR.
Member

Alfredo A. Arquillano, Jr. served as Municipal Mayor of San Francisco, Cebu province, the Philippines for three terms. Under his leadership, a “Purok” community empowerment program was developed to boost the resilience of families living below the poverty line. In the Purok “Capital Build Up” program, communities actively participate in developing local solutions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The system has won the municipal government several national and local awards, including the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011.

Aloysius Mariae L. Cañete
Trustee
Mr. Aloysius Ma. L. Canete is the previous Executive Director of A2D Project. He has a Masters degree in Health Social Science from De La Salle University under the Ford Foundation scholarship and BA and MA degrees in Anthropology at the University of San Carlos. In 2003, he received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Social Anthropology at Arizona State University (ASU) in the United States. In the U.S., Mr. Canete was an adjunct lecturer in the Program for Southeast Asian Studies at ASU. Before working at A2D Project, he was associate professor of Anthropology at the University of San Carlos for more than 10 years and was hired by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. as consultant and senior program officer for research and knowledge management in the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center in Cebu City.
Kaira Zoe K. Alburo
Grants Development Consultant
Kaira Zoe K. Alburo is an Assistant Professor of Development Studies at the University of the Philippines and former Executive Director and Founder of A2D Project. Under the Huygens Scholarship Program administered by NUFFIC, she acquired her Masters Degree in Development Studies with Merit at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands with a specialization in Women, Gender and Development, minor in Conflict Studies. In 2012, she received a grant from the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture, and Society (IASSCS) for her research titled “After the Storm: Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Philippines” under the Emerging Scholars International Research Fellowship Program. Her research experience and interests include Gender and Development, Intimate Partner Violence in Metro Cebu, Sexuality and Reproductive Health, Conflict and Human Rights.
KATHERINE N. VELMONTE
Executive Director

Ms. Velmonte’s professional career in non-profit non-government development work started in 2013 after earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines. She first worked as the Administrative Officer of A2D in 2013 and a year, she was assigned as the Administrative Manager and Projects Coordinator. She was also assigned in 2018 as the Project Coordinator of the Philippine Tuklas Innovation Lab-funded project entitled “Enhancing disaster preparedness thru Participatory and Inclusive 3D Mapping in three coastal barangays in Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (Project MAPA)”. Presently, she is appointed as the Executive Director of the organization since March 2019.

Djanil B. Barrera
Administrative Assistant

Ms. Djanil B. Barrera holds a degree on Bachelor of Science and Commerce major in Business Administration from University of San Jose Recoletos.

Ms. Barrera joined A2D Project in 2014 as Office Assistant. At present, she is holding the position Administrative Assistant. As administrative Assistant, she provides support to the Administrative Manager and Finance Officer in carrying our administrative and financial management activities.

Rhodora M. Felizarta
Finance Officer

Ms. Rhodora Felizarta joined A2D Project in 2015 with more than 20 years of financial and accounting management experience in both corporate and non-government organizations. As Finance Officer, she is responsible for the overall financial management of the organization. Moreover, she is responsible for ensuring financial monitoring and the strict implementation of the organization’s finance and accounting policies.

Before joining A2D Project, Ms. Felizarta was the Finance Officer of Cebu Satellite Office of Helpage International/ Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Apostleship of the Sea – Cebu and Cebu Court Appointed Special Advocate/ Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer’s Association. She also worked as Finance Assistant and Events Organizer of the United States Agency for International Development-funded project Management Sciences for Health-LEAD for Health, and Bookkeeper and Accountant of Cebu Newspaper Workers Foundation and Cebu Newspaper Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Ms. Felizarta holds a degree on Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from St.Theresa’s College.

Staff
KATHERINE N. VELMONTE
Executive Director

Ms. Velmonte’s professional career in non-profit non-government development work started in 2013 after earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines. She first worked as the Administrative Officer of A2D in 2013 and a year, she was assigned as the Administrative Manager and Projects Coordinator. She was also assigned in 2018 as the Project Coordinator of the Philippine Tuklas Innovation Lab-funded project entitled “Enhancing disaster preparedness thru Participatory and Inclusive 3D Mapping in three coastal barangays in Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (Project MAPA)”. Presently, she is appointed as the Executive Director of the organization since March 2019.

Djanil B. Barrera
Administrative Assistant

Ms. Djanil B. Barrera holds a degree on Bachelor of Science and Commerce major in Business Administration from University of San Jose Recoletos.

Ms. Barrera joined A2D Project in 2014 as Office Assistant. At present, she is holding the position Administrative Assistant. As administrative Assistant, she provides support to the Administrative Manager and Finance Officer in carrying our administrative and financial management activities.

Rhodora M. Felizarta
Finance Officer

Ms. Rhodora Felizarta joined A2D Project in 2015 with more than 20 years of financial and accounting management experience in both corporate and non-government organizations. As Finance Officer, she is responsible for the overall financial management of the organization. Moreover, she is responsible for ensuring financial monitoring and the strict implementation of the organization’s finance and accounting policies.

Before joining A2D Project, Ms. Felizarta was the Finance Officer of Cebu Satellite Office of Helpage International/ Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Apostleship of the Sea – Cebu and Cebu Court Appointed Special Advocate/ Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer’s Association. She also worked as Finance Assistant and Events Organizer of the United States Agency for International Development-funded project Management Sciences for Health-LEAD for Health, and Bookkeeper and Accountant of Cebu Newspaper Workers Foundation and Cebu Newspaper Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Ms. Felizarta holds a degree on Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from St.Theresa’s College.

Board of Trustees
ATTY. BRUCE N. RAGAS
Chair
Bruce N. Ragas is the Regional Director of the Commission on Population, Regional Population Office 7, an attached agency of the Department of Health. He is a lawyer by profession and prior his government service, he has been into private practice of law and was engaged with various non-government organizations that worked on the development issues such as human rights, environment, gender and development, reproductive health and sexual rights. Such involvement has exposed him to the intricate works of advocacy, networking and research. Aside from earning his degrees of Bachelor of Arts Major in Anthropology from the University of San Carlos and Bachelor of Laws from the University of San Jose Recoletos, Cebu City, he had been a recipient also of a Ford Foundation scholarship on the Program for Development Managers at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City, Philippines, and Hewlett Packard Foundation scholarship on the fellowship course on International Family Planning Leadership Program at the Public Health Institute through the International Health Program, Sta. Cruz, California, in collaboration with School of Public Health, Berkeley, California and Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.
ENRIQUE M. AVILA, PhD.
Secretary
A biologist and a retired associate professor and dean of college, Dr. Enrique M. Avila has worn a few good hats and worked for and with a lot of different people here and elsewhere. This adaptability to variety panned out from having attended a laboratory school during his early years to attending collegiate, graduate and post-graduate training in research universities. As practicing biologist, he communicated his research among peers and through other venues. His work with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, with a university, and with WorldFish lately, convinced him that if a structure is torn apart but the mindset that made it carries on, it is almost always certain the mindset will create another structure. What good will it bring then, if in tearing apart something, as in introducing change, the creator’s thinking pattern remains unchanged?
PATRICK Y. LIM, PH.D.
Treasurer

Patrick John Y. Lim, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of San Carlos (USC), Cebu City. He completed his bachelor’s degree at USC and earned his doctorate on synthetic inorganic and organometallics chemistry at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2000. After returning to the Philippines, he has served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry at USC from 2004 to 2011 and as a member of the Commission on Higher Education Technical Committee for Chemistry from 2007 to 2009.

He became involved in chemical safety and security through collaborations with experts from Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, culminating with his appointment to a U.S. National Academies Committee on Promoting Safe and Secure Chemical Management in Developing Countries from 2009 to 2010. His engagement in chemical safety and security included travels to Pakistan, Yemen, Thailand, and Switzerland, the last one for the IUPAC Workshop 2012 on Impacts of Scientific Development on the Chemical Weapons Convention. Currently, he serves as Editor of The Philippine Scientist, a journal published by USC Press and listed in the Zoological Record and BIOSIS Previews.

ROXANNE O. DORON.
Member

Roxanne O. Doron is a Faculty member of the University of San Carlos, School of Business and Economics and currently the Founder and Executive Director of Bisdak Pride, Inc.—a human rights organization dedicated to advance, uphold and protect the rights and responsibilities of persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). He also served as the Education Committee Head for the Coalition against Pork Barrel System, Secretariat of Cebu Archdiocesan Discernment Group and Festival Coordinator for Binisaya Film Festival – A project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Sub-commission on the Arts (Cinema).

He was part of the group of researchers on “HIV Prevention in Big Cities Project in the Philippines”, a project of Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC) and Population, Services International (PSI) funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) and “Strategic Information and Community Leadership among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) and Transgenders (TGs)”, A project of Health Action Information Network (HAIN) with support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

He is a Writer of the Daniel Magazine (Los Angeles, California), trained human rights worker and gender equality advocate.

MARIA CECILIA GASTARDO-CONACO, PH.D.
Member

Maria Cecilia C. Gastardo-Conaco is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of the Philippines Department of Psychology in Diliman, Quezon City. She obtained her Ph.D. in (social) Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara under a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship. A Rockefeller grant supported her additional training for the certificate in political psychology from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1991, she was awarded as one of the nation’s Outstanding Young Scientists by the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines.

Her research experience is broad and she has published on a variety of topics, including women’s health and sexuality, adolescent reproductive health, social identity and participation in social movements, cognitions of human rights, the psychology of poverty, cross-cultural relations, and indigenous psychology. She has done consultancy work for government and various non-governmental organizations, doing evaluation research and social impact assessments. She is also frequently invited as a resource person for research training workshops.

She currently holds the University of the Philippines Centennial Professorial Chair in Psychology for work on social psychological concepts in Filipino indigenous psychology.

ALFREDO A. ARQUILLANO, JR.
Member

Alfredo A. Arquillano, Jr. served as Municipal Mayor of San Francisco, Cebu province, the Philippines for three terms. Under his leadership, a “Purok” community empowerment program was developed to boost the resilience of families living below the poverty line. In the Purok “Capital Build Up” program, communities actively participate in developing local solutions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The system has won the municipal government several national and local awards, including the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011.

Aloysius Mariae L. Cañete
Trustee
Mr. Aloysius Ma. L. Canete is the previous Executive Director of A2D Project. He has a Masters degree in Health Social Science from De La Salle University under the Ford Foundation scholarship and BA and MA degrees in Anthropology at the University of San Carlos. In 2003, he received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Social Anthropology at Arizona State University (ASU) in the United States. In the U.S., Mr. Canete was an adjunct lecturer in the Program for Southeast Asian Studies at ASU. Before working at A2D Project, he was associate professor of Anthropology at the University of San Carlos for more than 10 years and was hired by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. as consultant and senior program officer for research and knowledge management in the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center in Cebu City.

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