Vice President Sara Duterte, who also sits as the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), shared that the agency is like it is in a “quicksand” as it deals with the needed repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of schools and their facilities damaged during disasters and calamities.
“We all know these problems and the other problems and challenges that the Department of Education and its partners are facing year in and year out,” Duterte said in her keynote speech during the national kick-off of the 2022 “Brigada Eskwela” held at the Imus Pilot Elementary School in Cavite on Monday, Aug. 1.
Duterte mentioned that in a recent meeting last week, she told DepEd’s key officials that “we are in a quicksand.”
“Hindi pa nga natin naayos at natapos ang destruction ng isang kalamidad, dumating na naman ang isang kalamidad (We haven’t even fixed and finished the destruction of one calamity, another calamity has come),” Duterte said.
Citing estimates, Duterte said that DepEd needs more than P18 billion, excluding the P1.4 billion of damages from the Abra earthquake, to “get ourselves out of the quicksand of this year and last year.”
Duterte noted that the said amount “does not include the things or the repairs that we have to do from 2016.”
Despite this, the DepEd Chief expressed optimism that the agency would find ways to make both ends meet.
“I am confident and I am optimistic that Department of Education will overcome — and we will overcome with the support of our national government and the administration of President Bongbong Marcos,” she said.
Duterte also noted that the roadmap left by the previous administration, will “guide our steps to ensure that our target to deliver basic education to our learners becomes a success.”
“With the national government supporting DepEd, with the Basic Education Development Plan 2030 serving as our guide — the success of the Department’s plans and programs shall now be completed by our undying love for the profession of teaching Filipino children, our children, the future of our nation,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Duterte also cited the importance of determination and resiliency in facing adversity. “The difference between possible and impossible is our determination to overcome all challenges to succeed,” she added.