From a short break from government service when he opted for early retirement on June 2015, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Engineer Rafael Cunanan Yabut as Senior Undersecretary on June 30, 2016 and was also named DPWH Acting Secretary from July 1 to August 2, 2016.
A Rank 1 Career Service Executive Officer, Senior Undersecretary Yabut has gained the respect and admiration of his peers in the DPWH Executive Committee as an “action man”, and a project executor, in his more than 40 years of service in the Department.
He entered the government service as a daily-waged laborer in 1975. He rose from the ranks due to merit and dedication, and was appointed as DPWH Undersecretary on January 14, 2008.
He has attended and participated either as a panelist or resource speaker in various training programs, seminars and special courses related to infrastructure development, locally and overseas.
He is an active member of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), Association of Government Civil Engineers of the Philippines (AGCEP) and the Road Engineering Association of the Philippines (REAP). He served as President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - Philippine Chapter, and, Chairman of the Road Engineering Association of Asia and Australasia (REAAA) - Philippine Chapter.
Senior Undersecretary Yabut was moulded into what he is now based on the values instilled by his parents, Ernesto Yabut and Felipa Cunanan, and, what he acquired in his vast work experience. He was conferred the “Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award” by the Provincial Government of Pampanga in December 2014.
He took Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Angeles University Foundation where he joined the school band to play saxophone and gain scholarship. He graduated in 1976, and took up Bachelor of Science in Sanitary Engineering at Holy Angel University and graduated in 1983. He completed his Masters Degree in Public Administration at Angeles University Foundation in 1996.
Born in Candaba, Pampanga on April 26, 1953, he is married to Helen P. Drapeza and they are blessed with three children namely Archie Fuhner, Rachelle Amor and Rossy Anne.