House may still call Sara Duterte to DepEd budget hearing

House may still call Sara to DepEd budget hearing

Arlene Brosas —Photo from House of Representatives

Opposition lawmaker and Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas on Friday warned Vice President Sara Duterte that her resignation as education secretary does not not excuse her from attending upcoming budget deliberations to explain the issues concerning the country’s worsening education system, which she had led for at least two years.

In a statement, Brosas, also House assistant minority leader, said that Duterte would still have to be scrutinized for her “dismal performance” as education chief, during which the Philippines ranked low in almost all global tests measuring student competencies.

On Wednesday, the day Duterte announced her resignation, the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) released a report saying Filipino students lagged behind in terms of creative thinking compared to students in other countries.

READ: Sara Duterte leaves unfinished business at DepEd

With a Pisa score of 14, the Philippines ranked 60 out of 62 countries and economies that participated in the assessment.

Based on the second Department of Education (DepEd)Basic Education Report that she released last January, the DepEd also built only around 3,600 classrooms in 2023 out of the planned 6,300.

President Marcos, meanwhile, has yet to signal whom he wants to take over the DepEd portfolio following Duterte’s resignation.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said he recommended Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) chair Prospero de Vera and Synergeia Foundation head Milwida “Nene” Guevara as possible candidates.

In picking them, Salceda noted De Vera’s tenure as CHEd chair would help streamline programs with the basic education under the DepEd.

Meanwhile, Synergeia Foundation, under Guevarra’s leadership, has also been the strongest champion in convening the second Congressional Commission on Education, the national commission tasked to review and evaluate the performance of the country’s basic education sector.

“No one has been earlier and more consistent about the longstanding issues affecting basic education. It’s Nene Guevara,” Salceda added.