Karina Constantino David

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Karina Constantino David is a former chairperson of the Civil Service Commission of the Philippines. She also served as the chairperson of the Career Executive Service Board, a government entity supervising the top management personnel of the Philippine government. She presently sits as a member of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Board of Trustees.

David is the wife of Professor Emeritus Randy David of the University of the Philippines Diliman and daughter of the renowned historian Renato Constantino. She is also the mother of journalist Kara David and UP Diliman geology professor Dr. Carlos Primo David.

Early life and education[edit]

Daughter to historian Renato Constantino, David earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1966. She completed academic requirements in the Master of Arts in Sociology program (orals lacking) from the same university in 1968. She obtained a Master of Arts in Economic and Social Studies from The Victoria University of Manchester in England in 1974.[1]

Civil service chief[edit]

David was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on February 23, 2001, as chairperson of the Civil Service Commission, succeeding Corazon Alma G. De Leon.[1]

On January 22, 2008, Karina Constantino-David stated that 40% of 3,000 government officials, including Cabinet officials, are unqualified to hold their positions: "these officials, consisting of managers, directors, assistant secretaries and undersecretaries, do not have the appropriate educational background and skills to perform their duties well; they don't have the correct educational skills and appropriate background plus experience to perform their respective duties well."[2][3]


David drew flak from government workers for her comments on the qualifications of presidential appointees. In a statement, the Convergence of Vigilant, Empowered and Responsible Government Employees said David failed to professionalize the bureaucracy after serving almost as long as President Arroyo, and that her comments were "very unprofessional and uncalled for". Babae sa Kaunlaran, another organization of government workers, also criticized the statement as highly political. Public criticism centered on the fact that David's husband, broadcaster Randy David, is a known anti-Arroyo critic associated with leftist groups.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, meanwhile, said that David's "sweeping generalizations in a luncheon speech do a disservice to the over one million civil servants, both career and appointed, who work diligently each and every day to serve the people of the Philippines."

Early work[edit]

David started working in 1966 as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She became an assistant professor from 1970 to 1975. In 1986, she was appointed undersecretary in the Department of Social Welfare and Development. From 1975, David has been a professor of community development at the University's College of Social Work and Community Development.[1]

Leadership experience[edit]

David chaired the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) from 1998 to 1999. In this capacity, she made housing and urban development goals and strategies, monitored targets, and broadened private sector participation. She also proposed legislation and made policies for asset disposition. She was heading the boards of all shelter agencies in the Philippines.[1]

From 1997 to 1998, David was the president of Eco-Shelter, Inc., a private company involved in shelter construction and development of alternative housing materials.[1]

She was also the executive director of Harnessing Self-Reliant Initiatives and Knowledge (HASIK) from 1988 to 1998. HASIK is a non-government organization involved in urban poor empowerment, gender development, protection of children and adolescents, and housing and livelihood projects.[1]

From 1999 until her appointment to the CSC, David was president of Property Solutions, Inc., a private company that offers innovative and alternative interventions to various property issues.[1]

Sociocivic affairs[edit]

David held leadership posts at the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (president, 1989–1998); Women's Action Network for Development (vice chairperson, 1990–1998); Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (chairperson, 1989–1995); Independent Commission on Population and the Quality of Life (commissioner, 1992–1996); and People's Forum for Habitat II (national convenor, 1995–1996). David also served as consultant to poverty and women's program policy planning of the Asian and Pacific Development Centre.[1]

In 1989, she was a consultant for the women's mission of GTZ or Deutsche Gessellscahft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).[1]

From 1988 to 1989, David was the over-all consultant of the Philippine Development Plan for Women at the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). David rendered consultancy services at the NCRFW from 1995 to 96 for the Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development.[1]

Organizational activities[edit]

David is an active member of the Philippine Sociological Society, the Human Development Network, and the Asia-Pacific Development Journal.[1] She is now a trustee of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).


Since 1981, David is the composer and guitarist of Inang Laya, a female duo that performs and records progressive, feminist songs. Inang Laya has cut a number of albums in the local entertainment scene.[1]

International award[edit]

On April 15, 2008, Karina Constantino-David received the World Bank's 2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service. David battled "against formidable obstacles to defend meritocracy and improve civil service pay as Chair of the Civil Service Commission of the Philippines until February."[4]

External links[edit]