Presumptive vice president and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) has accepted the offer of winning presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for her to be secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).
In a statement, Duterte said: “It was decided that I would work on producing skilled learners with the mindset to realize their full potential as individuals.”
“Our country needs a future generation of patriotic Filipinos that advocate peace and discipline in their respective communities,” Duterte said.
The Lakas-CMD and regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chairperson thanked her UniTeam running mate for the offer.
“I wish to express my gratitude to presumptive President Bongbong Marcos for the confidence in me to lead the Department of Education,” Duterte said in a statement this Thursday morning.
Duterte said before the election campaign, she and Marcos talked about the possibility of her leading the Department of National Defense (DND).
“But seeing the way things are at the moment, I expect that people who want to see the new administration fail will fabricate intrigues about my loyalty and the DND [Department of National Defense] position to break the UniTeam,” Duterte said.
She thanked DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones and the entire DepEd organization for their readiness to work with the new team.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian hailed Marcos’s decision to appoint Duterte to the DepEd, saying she had the political capital to ensure that much needed reforms in the education sector—including a review of the K to 12 system—will be implemented.
He reiterated the urgency of addressing the crisis in the education sector considering the dismal performance of Filipino learners in international assessments like the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
He also noted Filipinos’ dissatisfaction with the K-12 program.
Also on Thursday, Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez said the presumptive president is not against appointing a relative to his Cabinet as long as they are qualified.
But the former senator will respect “prohibitions provided for in the Constitution” and in the Civil Service Law, Rodriguez added.
“If they are qualified and there’s no prohibition under the law, it isn’t right to disqualify a person who is good in service just because they’re a distant relative,” he said in Filipino on ANC Headstart.
Rodriguez acknowledged there will be political appointees in Marcos’s Cabinet.