DepEd exec: ACT wants Briones to resign, portrays gov’t as ‘heartless’
MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) wants to portray government as “insincere,” “heartless” and show that the only solution is the resignation of Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones and the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte, said DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua Thursday.
Pascua made the statement after ACT solons called on the DepEd to solve the longstanding shortage in facilities, learning resources, and teaching and non-teaching personnel in public schools.
ACT made the call after a Bacoor National High School teacher revealed that teachers of the school were left with no choice but to transform a comfort room into a faculty room.
“So what is the purpose of such propaganda? Simple, ACT would want to show that this government led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his alter ego Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones are not caring but insincere, ‘sinungaling,’ heartless and all those usual slogans and labels they shout at the streets, and the only solution is for the Secretary to resign and for the President to be ousted!” Pascua said in a statement.
“And yet they asked that they be consulted, that they be dialogued with, and that they be heard…. by the very same President they want to oust and the very same Secretary they want to resign. They call that freedom of expression!” he added.
ACT Rep. Antonio Tinio earlier pointed out that such condition in the Cavite school was “not an isolated case and not new,” but Pascua asserted how this “propaganda drowned the truth.”
“Since the teacher and the other 10 who followed her are members of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), comes now the ACT Partylist Congressmen giving support and saying that this incident is happening in most of the 47,000 schools nationwide!” Pascua said.
“ACT launched a media blitz and flooded social media with posts, reposts, tweets, retweets, interviews and press releases one after another… so the propaganda eventually drowned the truth,” he added.
Pascua explained the Cavite school principal met with the teachers to offer its library, the guidance center, or the advisory classrooms to serve as temporary faculty rooms after the school moved to single-shift classes this year.
This caused faculty rooms to be converted back to additional classrooms to support the new policy.
“Eleven out of 236, or a mere 4.66% of that school’s teaching force, and 1 out of 47,000 schools or just 0.002% of all schools nationwide were affected, but their concerted efforts made it appear that the entire DepEd teaching force and schools were suffering from such dismal condition. Whew!” Pascua said.
Pascua also lamented teachers’ comments after DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones called the Bacoor school teacher’s move as “dramatic” and “touching.”
“When Secretary Briones said that the move of the 11 teachers who separated from the 236 other teachers was seemingly intentional to make it more “dramatic” or “touchy,” everybody ganged up on her and lambasted her as heartless, insensitive, plus all other remarks that are unbelievably coming from supposed teachers who have been taught and are teaching good manners and right conduct,” Pascua said.
Meanwhile, the DepEd assured it has already taken steps to solve the faculty room issue in the said Cavite school.
According to DepEd, it has included in its 2020 budget request “the funding for an initial batch of buildings that will have space for principal’s office, faculty room, guidance room, library, and school supplies and equipment storage in times of calamities.” (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.