Education Secretary Leonor Briones along with the other key officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) received support from a 50,000-strong employees’ union for their efforts in leading the agency at a time of a pandemic.
In a statement issued Wednesday, May 19, the agency noted that the DepEd-National National Employees’ Union (DepEd-NEU) lauded its efforts for learning continuity as they called for unity among stakeholders.
DepEd-NEU represents more than 50,000 non-teaching personnel of the department in 17 regions and 200 divisions. As the country grapple with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the union urged stakeholders to “rally behind” Briones and the DepEd on various programs and projects for Filipino learners.
As advocates in the delivery of education amid the pandemic, DepEd-NEU expressed support to the leadership of Briones who is spearheading the agency’s efforts in implementing the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).
DepEd-NEU President lawyer Domingo Alidon lauded Briones’ commitment to transparency, efficiency, and protection of employees’ welfare.
“The Secretary has programs that are really helpful and beneficial to our employees,” Alidon said. “Only [the] Secretary, from time immemorial, included educational assistance as benefits of non-teaching personnel to cater to the welfare and interest of the employees of DepEd,” he added.
DepEd-NEU Chairperson Johnny Balawag, on the other hand, highlighted partnership as key to enhance and improve education delivery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We always say that we can make the impossible, possible, the unreachable, reachable, and undoable, doable with this pandemic situation and that’s where we get our strength as we expressed our support to the current leadership of the department,” Balawag said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Balawag furthered that at this time, there is a pressing need to achieve the goal set by the department – that is, education must continue. “We have to facilitate first before we complain, we have to look into all these programs and plans so we can say that we are all for the good of our youth,” he added.
Likewise, DepEd-NEU underscored that the department “needs all-out support from its stakeholders since there are still challenges in education due to the current public health situation.”
Given this, the union called on education stakeholders – including other unions, teaching and non-teaching organizations as well as parents and teachers’ association – to support the agency’s programs and projects amid the ongoing health crisis in the country.