FILE PHOTO: Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones
The Commission on Appointments heard President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Secretary Leonor Briones as the secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) for almost four hours.
During the CA committee on education, culture and sports hearing, led by Senator Bam Aquino, Representative Juliet Cortuna questioned Secretary Briones’s move to place additional consultants, who allegedly have administrative positions in various universities in the country.
“Have you considered assessing, having that assertion of critical thinking of considering first the existence of your 700 thousand men and women before getting outside consultants. This is why, your honor, Mr. Chairman, I hired outside consultants who can look at the agency from the outside so that in case you have problems inside, you get the answers, but experts from outside may also help,” Rep. Cortuna said.
Briones also defended adding assistant secretaries and undersecretaries who will be in charge of monitoring how DepEd’s budget is being used.
“I created two undersecretaries of finance one to look into the utilization of the budget because this is the main problem, the monitoring especially the coming in of reports since we download the expenses of schools,” said DepEd Secretary Briones.
Meanwhile, Secretary Briones clarifies it is not Deped’s mandate to distribute condom in schools despite the passed Reproductive Health Law.
She also insisted that her old age, and health condition will not hinder her from performing her duties.
“It’s true that I use a wheelchair whenever I travel by plane. But everybody I’m sure here agrees that there is no correlation between the state of my knees and the state of my (brains) as well as the capacity to analyze challenges whether these be related to education, to finance, to politics and the economy,” the education secretary added.
Since yesterday is the last day of CA session, those who did not undergo confirmation hearing are automatically by-passed.
Among those who will be needing re-appointment are Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Department of Agrarian Reform Sec. Raphael Mariano, Department of Social Welfare and Development Sec. Judy Taguiwalo and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Gina Lopez.
CA chair Senator Koko Pimentel said there are reasons why the CA was not able to tackle their confirmation.
“There are different reasons, for delay, delay of the schedule, we lost one or two sessions of ca because we reorganized the Senate…The nominee submitted documents on different dates,” said Senator Koko Pimentel. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue