WHEN Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio sits down as Vice President of the Philippines and buckle down to her work as the new Secretary of the Department of Education she will immediately be confronted with two major problems. And these problems will surely test the mettle of the capability of the new VP to tackle problems of national import.

     First, VP Sara as Education Secretary, will have to make a decisive stand on the issue of whether or not the department she will be heading by then – DepEd – will officially allow the holding of face-to-face school-year-end activities like the “moving-up” ceremonies for Grade 10, and the graduation rites for those completing the Senior year or Grade 12. Her final stand on the matter will be very critical because it is common knowledge that many, if not all of the students and parents are normally anticipating these important events in their lives. Every student and parent will definitely record everything attendant to such event.  And somehow the moving-up and graduation rites (for secondary students) and for college their attainment of any bachelor’s degree, are the most memorable to them and traditionally included in the documentation of one’s life journey. Naturally, there will be so much pressure on Sara to give in to every student on that level and of parents to have the opportunity to get a taste of how it feels to be part in graduation rites, and for parents to witness and savor the joy of the occasion.

     The second critical problem that the by then newly installed Education Department top honcho is whether or not she will allow the return to face-to-face classes at all elementary, secondary and even college levels with the only remaining restrictions are the wearing of face mask, social distancing and handwashing.

     We are certain that should Sara give the go-ahead signal for schools to proceed with the face-to-face classes after consulting the experts on public health, there will still be a lot of protestations citing face-to-face classes as potential cause of the CoViD 19 virus surge. 

     This is where Sara will have to show her political will because if she will hesitate to even try to make a stand or position on the two issues, it can easily be construed as indication of her weak leadership and her wanting in political will.

     But should the presumptive Vice President and the incoming Secretary of Education make her position on the two most immediate issues as soon as on the very first day of her assumption, then for certain she will earn appreciation and respect from people in the education sector, including from the students themselves.

     Once she will be able to resolve the issues earlier mentioned here she can surely be proceeding without major hindrances in working on solutions to the much-complained about deterioration of the country’s educational curriculum, low teacher and non-teaching DepEd employees’ salaries and benefits, and bringing education as closest possible to people residing in the most rural of areas in the country.


     Organized workers are demanding that government lower the cost of living. This they did as they now see the futility of having the daily wage increase approved by the National Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (NTWPB) recently upgraded to the level they feel they are willing to accept comfortably.

     But the question is, can the government, given the present economic condition of the country and the world, still do what the laborers are demanding? Can government unilaterally bring down the cost of living when almost everything that the Filipinos need for survival are under the control of bigtime manufacturers and retailers even as some other critical industries and services like oil and power are already in safe distance from the clutches of government regulations?

     However, if our country’s next leaders have the necessary political will and have the interest of the greater majority in their minds, they’ll probably make some sacrifices and adopt measures that are populist in nature even if these will estrange them from the minority yet influential elites.

     And if we may be allowed unsolicited recommendations in order to reduce the country’s cost of living, perhaps government can set aside temporarily implementation of less urgent infrastructure projects such as the slow “return-on-investment” generating big budgeted bridges intended to connect Cavite and Bataan, and the op=ne proposed for the island provinces of Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros.

     Projects like the two if temporarily shelved can certainly provide the leeway needed to possibly do away with excise tax on oil products. Or government can retake control of the oil industry so as not to let the automatic increases in prices become the norm like what is happening now. There are many ways to kill a cat, so the saying goes.

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our e-mail at victorino.sumalinog@yahoo.com; Mobile No. 09392980435; and Landline at 2372169.




Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2022/05/20/rough-cuts-political-will-it-is-all-that-is-needed/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-political-will-it-is-all-that-is-needed)