There is an adage that describes leaders as those who meet their times. Former Deputy Administrator Leonor C. Cleofas certainly met her time when President Duterte appointed her as the new MWSS Administrator to replace General Reynaldo Velasco who stepped down as Chairman and OIC Administrator to run for an elective office. Her nomination as Administrator. was confirmed during the MWSS Board of Trustees’ 17th regular meeting for CY 2021.
Administrator Cleofas’ appointment effectively eliminated the leadership uncertainties following the unexpected transfer of then Administrator Emmanuel Salamat in February 2020 which Chairman Velasco immediately filled-in in concurrent capacity as OIC, Administrator. Throughout the long line of Administrators, no woman leader has ever been appointed at the helm of MWSS as a full-fledged Administrator. Administrator Cleofas held a number of senior operational and business leadership roles until she retired in May 2021 as the Deputy Administrator of the Engineering and Technical Operations Group.
MWSS Chairman Velasco during the turnover ceremony on 28 September 2021 said. . “I am proud that the new Administrator is an internal homegrown talent. I am confident that Administrator Cleofas who is a seasoned leader with strong track record of delivering impactful results is one of the best things that happened to MWSS. Many new Administrators, including myself when I was appointed in 2017, learned on the job amidst the prying eyes of stakeholders. Her experience, competence and institutional knowledge eliminates the time required to learn the job especially when there are challenges stacked from several fronts. I sincerely appreciate her help as my pro-bono consultant after her retirement, taking on increased responsibility even during the height of the COVID crisis. She is the right individual to get the job done and I am grateful to leave MWSS in such capable hands.”
MWSS Chairman Velasco exited MWSS in 30 September 2021 after serving for 4 years, first as Administrator in 2017 and as Chairman in 2019. He institutionalized the Annual Million Tree Challenge (AMTC) which has been successful in the past 4 years with over 4 million trees planted in 7 critical watershed areas. Under his watch, two (2) major water supply projects were completed ahead of schedule: the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project and Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project.