Palace vouches for Briones as alleged anomalies hound DepEd

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2019 03:36 PM

Education Secretary Leonor Briones. Malacañang Photo/File

MANILA - Malacañang vouched Monday for Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in light of alleged anomalies within the Department of Education.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo assured the public that Briones, as a government official, would "never allow" irregularities to persist within the education department.

"She is someone who will never allow any irregularity or anomaly inside her department," Panelo told reporters.

"As far as I know, the secretary of education is a very competent, intelligent educator," he said.

The Commission on Audit flagged DepEd over errors in P254.4-million worth of textbooks being used in public schools, saying these render the instructional materials to be of "poor quality."

Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said Monday officials of the agency already reviewed the errors in books following the COA report.

"We are also preparing na ayusin din yung (to fix the) content kasi Secretary Briones also ordered the review of the K to 12 curriculum," she told radio DZMM.

State auditors also called attention to P316.62 million spent on DepEd trainings in "lavish resorts and tourist spot locations" as "extravagant."

While the amount seems "alarming," Sevilla explained that it is less than 1 percent of DepEd's P4 billion annual budget for training. The agency currently has more than 900,000 personnel.

"Hindi ho maiiwasan na the minimal part of it, although million po kung lumalabas, sa laki ng aming structure, looks like a very alarming finding," she said.

(We cannot avoid that the minimal part of it, although the figure is in millions but considering how big our structure is, looks like a very alarming figure.)

Sevilla assured the public that education officials consider the issues hounding DepEd as "very serious" and assured the public that Briones is on top of it.

"These are things that we are reviewing para yung policy na magagawa natin ay maiimprove yung sistema," she said.

(These are the things that we are reviewing so we can form a policy that can improve our system.)