People Rotating Header Image

Nereus Acosta

Juan Romeo Nereus Olaivar Acosta, popularly known as Neric Acosta, is a politician, academician, and political scientist in the Philippines. He is a former member of the Philippine House of Representatives, representing the first district of the province of Bukidnon from 1998 to 2007.

Acosta was born on May 14, 1966 in Phillips, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Acosta studied at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Phillips, Bukidnon, graduating valedictorian in 1979. He studied in Xavier University during high school, graduating first honors in 1981. Acosta earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of the Philippines in 1986, and attended the UP College of Law but did not graduate.


Acosta obtained a Master of Arts in Public Affairs With Distinction (International Relations and Political Studies concentration) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1987. He was conferred a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, as a scholar of the East West Center, in 1994. He similarly attended the special programs on Leaders in Development Program (1999) and Environmental Economics (2002) at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. In the year 2004, Acosta was recognized as the first Filipino World Fellow of Yale University.

Acosta first ran and won as a provincial board member of Bukidnon from 1995 to 1998. He ran and won a seat as Representative of the First District of Bukidnon province in Northern Mindanao for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2007. He served as Chairman of the Committee on Ecology and Vice Chairman of the Committees on Science and Technology, Human Rights, and Foreign Relations of the House of Representatives.

He is the principal author of many environmental laws in the Philippines, including the groundbreaking Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and the Biodiversity Protection Act. The Clean Air Act of 1999 received various awards and citations, including the Oscar Escobar Environmental Award and the Citizens’ Movement Against Pollution Award, both in 2002. He has represented the Philippines in numerous international forums, including the United Nations Special Assembly on HIV/AIDS and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, where he served as the Deputy Secretary General.

From 1998-2001, he served as the national chairperson of the Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas, the youth arm of the Liberal Party (Philippines), where he is now Secretary General. He is also at present the Secretary General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats. In 2009 he was selected to run under Noynoy Aquino for the senate in the 2010 elections along with Akbayan Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros, Congressman of Muntinlupa City Ruffy Biazon and Former Senate President Frank Drillon.

Acosta has authored various articles on politicsSearch for Global Identities" won the plum prize during a competition for the magazine Intersect-Japan and the PHP Institute of America in Japan in 1995. His articles on political and public life regularly appear in the Perspectives section of t, leadership and governance, development, education, and the environment, and has published widely in various magazines and national dailies. He co-authored a book entitled "The Philippine Political Culture (View from Inside the Halls of Power)" in 2001. He has also published "Population, Poverty, and Politics" (2001), and "Alternative Political Campaign Strategies" for the Friedrich Nauman Stiftung-Philippines in 2005. Meanwhile, his essay on "Internationalization and the he website

In recognition of his contributions to policy-making, education, and advocacy work, Acosta was included in NewsBizAsia’s 100 Most Influential Filipinos (2002), and was cited by Asiaweek as representing the "youthful, hopeful change for the country." Adding to his numerous accomplishments, he was also selected as one of The Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) – Asia Pacific by the Osaka, Japan Junior Chamber (1995).

Acosta is married to Carina Chotirawe, a full-time professor at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. They have a son, Inigo Juan, born on February 11, 1996. Acosta is also featured in the recently released book Profiles encourage: Ordinary Filipinos making an extraordinary difference (Anvil Publishing) along with others who have made significant contributions in Philippine society.

Other Information

  • Born : May 14, 1966
  • Birth place : Phillips, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, Philippines
  • Nationality : Filipino
  • Political party : Liberal Party
  • Spouse : Carina Chotirawe
  • Children : Inigo Juan
  • Residence : Bukidnon
  • Education : University of the Philippines; Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1987; University of Hawaii; Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University
  • Occupation : Politician, Academician, Author, Political scientist
  • Profession : Politician, Academician, Author, Political scientist


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *