Thursday , May 24, 2018

Mendoza: The confirmation of Sec. Briones

Director’s Cut: (This portion features the thoughts of Lawyer Alberto T. Escobarte, CESO IV, Regional Director, DepEd-Davao to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education).

"LET me assure you that in the performance of my official duties and even my private acts will be guided and guarded by my Oath of Office, The Panunumpang Kawani ng Gobyerno, the Philippine Constitution and all the laws that govern our actions.”

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There is no correlation between the state of my knees and the state of my brain.

This is the emphatic reply of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones when she was asked whether it is true that she is already using wheelchair while traveling via airplane on the day that she was formally confirmed as Secretary of Department of Education (DepEd). On motion of Senator Panfilo Lacson and seconded by Ralph Recto and Miguel Zubiri, Secretary Briones finally got her long awaited appointment.

It was on March 15, 2017 when the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) officially confirmed Secretary Briones as the Department Secretary after conducting thorough scrutiny of her mandate, agenda, challenges, and accomplishments for Deped.

On the question regarding her legacy as Education Chief, Briones confidently stated that by 2022, DepEd’s legacy will be a nation of young people who love their country and know their history; Learners who not only memorize facts but are equipped to respond to the challenges and opportunities of a radically changing world in a positive manner; Individuals who think critically, are innovative and happy.

Among the controversial queries thrown by the CA members on Sec. Briones which she readily answered included the condom distribution in schools, fast-tracking of budget spending, and Palarong Pambansa.

It was learned that 15 of the 17 members of the CA voted for the Secretary's confirmation, while three senators conveyed their confidence in her capacity to lead the Department through intense endorsements of her confirmation before the plenary.

Sen. Recto expressed his satisfaction over the decision of the President to appoint Sec. Briones to head DepEd. It was reported that he even told to himself that the era of annual Sona tales of education accomplishments without basis is over and that the problem on the use of funds for the education department. Recto emphatically said that the reason she voted for Briones so that she herself can solve the problem of underspending, which she repeatedly exposed while she was in Social Watch.

Senator Bam Aquino, CA Chair of Education Panel, affirmed that the Secretary is an exemplary public servant who is known in advancing education with dignity and with known to model good governance. Aquino added that based on his personal experience of working with her in the past eight months, she's truly a champion of quality basic education.

With her confirmation attended by the DepEd Executive Committee in the Central Office and the Regional Directors of the country, it is expected that the entire officialdom of the department will continue bring to all parts of the country the budget and the actual usage of such to fund all the necessary expenditures to achieve basic quality education for all learners, formal or informal.

This Corner hopes that all levels of DepEd from central to the smallest learning center will benefit from this welcome development.

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