In his 2013 “State of the Nation Address”, His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III highlighted the achievements of his Cabinet and other government officials. Br. Armin, the current Secretary for Education, received the most praise from the President. The following is an excerpt from the President’s report to the Filipino people:
“Let us move on to education. Our goal is to raise the quality of learning that our children undertake, so that once they finish their schooling, they can seize the opportunities now opening up in society: accomplished. We have finally erased the backlog we inherited in books and chairs, and if Secretary Armin Luistro continues to demonstrate true grit, even the backlog we inherited in classrooms will also be erased this year. And there is even more good news: Now, we also have the ability to prepare for the additional needs that the implementation of the K to 12 program will require.
“The problems that plagued Brother Armin in the DepEd are no laughing
matter. Just think: one textbook used to be priced at PhP58; since he
assumed office, the price of the exact same textbook has gone down to PhP30. What would have happened if we had been paying the proper price
from the beginning? If we had saved the difference of PhP28 for all the
books bought, at five textbooks for each of the estimated 20.7 million
students in our public school system, the equivalent would amount to almost PhP2.9 billion. These savings alone could have funded our plans to repair and rehabilitate around 9,502 classrooms.
“If Brother Armin didn’t have strength of will, he could have just left this culture of negligence in his agency for his successor to deal with. He could have also left the backlog, as well as the growing gap of needs because of the rising number of enrollees each year. But instead of being content, instead of saying, “This will do. My job is done,” Brother Armin will build even more chairs and classrooms, and will buy even more books, to ensure that even the needs in future years will also be met.” Congratulations to Br. Armin!