Support for Negros lawmaker as DepEd secretary grows

Photo from SB Jason Tembrevilla Tupas Facebook

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – Several Negros Occidental lawmakers have rallied behind their colleague, 3rd District Representative Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, to be the next Secretary of Education, a position recently vacated by Vice President Sara Duterte.

A leader in the business sector has also expressed support for Benitez for the position.

The latest to endorse Benitez is Bacolod Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya.

Gasataya told Daily Guardian on Monday that he stands with other Negros Occidental lawmakers in supporting Benitez.

Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Stephen Paduano said that, in addition to his own support, Visayan bloc lawmakers are also rooting for Benitez to be the next DepEd Secretary.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President for Western Visayas Frank Carbon emphasized the importance of providing excellent education to the Philippines’ 110 million citizens, who have an average age of 25.

“We have to give them excellent education, not just diplomas, but the ability to land good-paying jobs here in the country and abroad,” Carbon said, noting that Benitez is well-prepared for the role.

Carbon added that Benitez’s background in the education sector gives him a clear view of the country’s educational status and the path needed to achieve international, or at least Asian, standards.

5th District Rep. Dino Yulo also voiced his support for Benitez: “I would like to add my voice to those endorsing 3rd District Cong. Kiko Benitez as our next DepEd Secretary,” Yulo said.

He emphasized Benitez’s qualifications, citing his legislative experience and his previous role as president of the Philippine Women’s University.

“These experiences will bode well in managing the education department, especially as he now has a grasp of the grassroots that can guide him on how to better improve our education sector,” Yulo added.

Meanwhile, the National Movement of Young Legislators – Negros Occidental chapter passed a resolution endorsing Benitez as the next Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Victorias City Councilor Derek Palanca, in a Facebook post, stated that the NMYL – Negros Occidental chapter “favorably endorses the appointment of Third District Rep. Jose Francisco “Kiko” Benitez as Secretary of the Department of Education to his excellency, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.”


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