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Marcos to Announce New DepEd Secretary by Week’s End After Duterte’s Resignation

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MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on Thursday that he would reveal his pick for the new secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) by the end of the week, following Vice President Sara Duterte’s resignation from the position.

In a statement to reporters, Marcos emphasized the importance of maintaining leadership in the education department, calling it “possibly (and) arguably the most important department.”

“No matter the change of leadership in the department, we still have to carry on,” Marcos stated. “I will probably be able to, I would like to be able to announce the appointment of the DepEd Secretary by the end of the week. We cannot leave it open.”

Marcos shared that Duterte did not provide a specific reason for her resignation as DepEd secretary and co-vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Speculation suggests that this resignation signifies a political rift between the Marcos and Duterte families ahead of the 2025 midterm elections.

“She didn’t give any reason. I asked her if there was any particular reason why she has chosen to resign from the Department of Education and the NTF-ELCAC. And she said, ‘Wag na lang nating pag-usapan’ (Let’s not talk about it), so I did not force the issue,” Marcos added.

The President mentioned that he has requested several names as potential candidates for the position, which teacher groups and education experts believe should be filled by someone from the education sector.

Duterte indicated in her resignation letter that she would follow a 30-day transition plan for the DepEd Central Office’s nine strands and the boards and councils chaired by DepEd and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). Duterte was elected last year to serve as SEAMEO council president until 2025.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has called for the new DepEd secretary to be a non-politician to avoid “political bickering” and “divisive political fighting.” Despite this, two months before Duterte’s resignation, Marcos had dismissed lawmakers’ calls for her replacement, asserting that he would only replace Cabinet secretaries if they “don’t do their jobs properly.”


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