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Magtolis-Briones readies briefing for incoming DepEd chief Duterte

Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones on Thursday said they would schedule a series of briefings for presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte who is expected to assume the post as the next education chief.

“We are also putting the finishing touches to our transition report,” Briones told the BusinessMirror. The briefings will also include the team of Duterte, she added.

Briones also said she has been making the rounds in Regional Offices “to say goodbye and assess their final reports.”

Presentation of Duterte’s plans

While the general sentiment of the teachers is for the President to appoint a Secretary from their ranks—a classroom teacher or someone who has previous experience as part of the education sector—the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) acknowledged that they recognize Cabinet appointments as a “prerogative” of the incoming Chief Executive.

“Now with the pronouncement of presumptive President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to appoint presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte as DepEd [Department of Education] Secretary, we want to share with her the concrete experiences and problems faced by our educators, instead of merely waiting for the presentation of her plans for the DepEd, which may come from the outside looking in to say the least. Hence, we look forward to the opportunity of presenting our 13-point teachers’ Dignity Agenda,” the TDC said in a news statement.

The TDC said that the agenda needs both executive and legislative actions and focuses not only on the rights and welfare of teachers but for learners and the school system as well.

“It includes a better compensation package, implementation of the 1966 vintage Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, compensation for those affected by Covid-19, free post-graduate education, provision of free laptop computers and Internet services and the creation of a separate insurance system and hospital for teachers among other long overdue benefits. As well, we have programs on learning itself, such as reduction of class size, provision of books and other materials and facilities and adequate funding for the safe return to normal school operation,” the group added.

Finally, the TDC said a curriculum that strengthens national development not just catering to the needs of foreign labor market, but one that includes sense of patriotism and promotes peace and human rights, a curriculum that will produce Filipinos who are proud of their history and culture.

“We hope that the incoming administration will not ignore our call to uphold the dignity of teaching profession,” they added.

DepEd employees’ welfare, projects

The DepEd-National Employees’ Union (DepEd-NEU), meanwhile, is hoping and anticipating that Duterte will continue the good program and projects of the agency, especially on the aspect of DepEd employees’ welfare and benefits under the 8th education agenda of Briones during her term.

“As a union, we welcome and support her as concurrent Vice President and Secretary of DepEd. We have trust and confidence Vice President Sara Duterte can be a great DepEd Secretary and that she will look into the plight of the DepEd personnel not only on the teaching group but to the non-teaching group too, considering her exemplary experience as full-blown politician,” said Atty. Domingo Alidon, DepEd-NEU president.

The union is also anticipating partnership with the new DepEd management on the advocacy for public sector unionism and continuity of good programs and projects of the department towards quality education.

On Wednesday night, presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced on he will appoint Duterte as the Secretary of DepEd, after they take office on June 30.

Marcos said Duterte’s appointment to head the DepEd is one of the issues they have agreed during their meeting on Wednesday night.

Duterte immediately agreed, he said. Both Marcos and Duterte won landslide victories on the May 9 elections, according to partial, unofficial tallies in the Commission on Elections transparency server, with 98 percent of results counted in.

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