VP Duterte warns local execs vs hiring teachers on padrino system

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Tuesday, Feb. 21, warned local chief executives not to hire public school teachers based on favors and patronage, where one gets hired based on political and family ties.

Vice President Sara Duterte speaks at the 2023 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Photo by Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

During the 2023 League of Municipalities of the Philippines’ General Assembly held at the Manila Hotel, the official reminded mayors to hire teachers based on the ranking by the Department of Education (DepEd).

She told the local executives that the quality of education received by the learners is hinged on the quality of their teachers.

When mayors neglect the DepEd ranking and hire teachers based on patronage, the quality of education suffers, Duterte said.

“Kaya po kami ay nakikiusap na sundin po natin ang ranking sa ating pagpili sa mga (That’s why we are asking for you to follow the ranking in selecting our) teachers at hindi po dapat nating pinipilit kung sino yung kakilala, kaibigan, kamag-anak natin sa pagpapasok o (and we should not force who we know, our friends, relatives in choosing or) hiring ng ating mga (of our) teachers sa (in the) Department of Education,” she stressed.

The Vice President also reminded teachers, principals, superintendents, regional directors, and assistant regional directors to always be “professional” and not take the side of any politicians.

She told officials there that teachers and principals won’t make them win the elections; rather, it is their sincerity to the people that will get them elected.

“Let us remain true to the call of public service, foster lasting progress within our communities, and carry on with the crucial task of nation-building with the utmost integrity and democratic accountability,” she said.

Duterte also asked the local leaders not to require the teachers to take part in the activities of the local government units (LGUs) because they need to focus on the learners and not on what’s happening outside the schools.

(Photo by Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

Meanwhile, she urged mayors to support local schools, especially those in far-flung areas, as the country’s education sector recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The official asked the local chief executives “to convene your local school board and evaluate the need of your local schools.”

“While our President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has committed to increase investments in education in the next six years, let me take this opportunity to enjoin our mayors to convene your local school board and evaluate the need of your local schools,” she said.

“Our schools in GIDA (geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas) are in dire need of support and we ask you to look into each school kung ano pa pong pwedeng matulong ng mga local government unit ninyo at ng (how the LGU can help and the) special education fund. An investment in education secures the future peace and progress of your locality,” she added.

Duterte, who was mayor of Davao City before being elected Vice President, emphasized the role of mayors in pursuing programs “to remain effective conduits of socio-political change, economic advancement, and cultural development of the communities we serve.”

“As a former mayor, I am aware of the amount of responsibility that comes with the opportunity to lead and direct our localities to the path of greater growth and sustainable development,” she said.

The Vice President, who is the Education chief in a concurrent capacity, took the opportunity to thank the local chief executives for their immense support to the DepEd’s recovery plan, a mechanism implemented to bridge the learning gaps in basic education brought about by the two-year pandemic.

“Let me express my gratitude for your invaluable efforts that led to the successful implementation of our basic education learning recovery plan,” Duterte told the mayors, citing how local government units rolled out their own reading, math, and science programs for the learners.

Citing the “gargantuan task of shepherding 28 million learners back to school in August last year,” Duterte said such wouldn’t have been possible without the help of LGUs.

She added that local chief executives helped the education sector catch up with the lost time.

The LMP assembly is a country-wide conference for municipal mayors. This serves as an avenue for updating and discussions on developmental endeavours.

The LMP was created in accordance with Section 496 of the Local Government Code of 1991 with the mandate to “organize for the primary purpose of ventilating, articulating and crystallizing issues affecting municipal government administration, and securing, through proper and legal means, solutions thereto.”

La Paz, Abra Mayor Joseph Bernos took the helm as national president following LMP president emeritus Luis “Chavit” Singson of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur who served from 2019 to 2022.

Together with Bernos and Singson, also present during the assembly are LMP National Treasurer Apalit Mayor Jun Tetangco, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, and LMP Secretary General and Barcelona, Sorsogon Mayor Cynthia Falcotelo-Fortes.