Angara to replace Duterte as DepEd chief

Art by Janssen Judd Romero /THE FLAME

BUCKING CALLS for him not to appoint a politician to the Department of Education (DepEd), President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. appointed Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara as education secretary, nearly two weeks after Vice President Sara Duterte’s resignation from the agency.

Marcos announced Angara’s appointment on Tuesday, July 2, during the 17th Cabinet Meeting in Malacañang.

“Sonny has agreed to take on the brief of the Department of Education,” the President said.

Duterte stepped down as education secretary last June 19 but did not provide reasons for doing so. Marcos decided to name Duterte’s successor before her resignation takes effect on July 19, citing the need for a leader who would oversee DepEd’s extensive operations.

“DepEd is arguably the most important department given the crucial role of education,” Marcos said.

RELATED: Duterte’s resignation as DepEd secretary for the better, experts say

The President picked Angara for the post despite appeals by various groups for him not to name a politician as DepEd secretary. In a recent statement, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said the next DepEd chief should be an educator, not a politician, to ensure that the agency would be spared from political bickering.

However, various educational groups like the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities had endorsed Angara to the post.

In a statement, Angara vowed to build upon Duterte’s accomplishments and work with different sectors to ensure that Filipinos have access to quality education.

“Education is the cornerstone of our nation’s future, and it is through collective effort that we can address the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead. I am eager to collaborate with President Marcos and the entire administration in serving our students, supporting our teachers, and enhancing the overall quality of education in our country,” the senator said.

“Together, with the dedication of all stakeholders, we will strive to create a brighter future for our nation through education,” he added.

The DepEd welcomed Angara’s appointment in a statement, saying it is looking forward to working with him as it continues to improve the quality of basic education in the country.

Angara served as a senator since the 16th Congress in 2013. He led multiple Senate panels such as the justice and human rights committee, finance committee, youth committee and economic affairs committee. A lawyer like Duterte, Angara finished his law degree at the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2000 and obtained his Master of Laws at Harvard Law School in 2003.

He graduated with a degree in Economics and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1994. F – Ma. Alyanna Selda 

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