By Filane Mikee Cervantes

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PNA file photo by Darryl John Esguerra)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday said he needs more time before appointing a new Department of Education (DepEd) secretary to take over Vice President Sara Duterte.

“It turns out it’s harder than I thought because we absolutely have to get it right. So, I’m giving myself more time,” Marcos said in an interview in Makati City.

Marcos said the new DepEd chief should be able to manage the large bureaucracy and handle the complicated work.

“I’ve gone through so many CVs (curriculum vitae). Marami tayong magagaling (We have a lot of excellent [candidates]). It’s — we have to choose somebody who has an understanding of what is important in terms of being an educator. But then we also have to find — the same person has to have those qualities that can galvanize this very, very large democracy, which is the DepEd, and to achieve all of those gains, or all of those changes, to make the educational standard better,” Marcos said.

Marcos refused to identify the people he is considering for the post, but said he has noted all the qualities raised by different sectors for the next Education secretary.

The President noted that there are calls for the new secretary to be an educator, administrator and a historical professor.

“All of these, and they are all valid concerns. That’s what education is all about,” Marcos said, as he highlighted the need to appoint an educator who can help both the teachers and students.

Ang lagi naman natin tiningnan ang mga test score natin (What we have always looked at are the test scores). We have to bring up the test scores. You all know that. So, you need an educator who understands how to help the students, how to help the teachers, number one,” he said.

President Marcos expressed gratitude to Duterte for her work in DepEd.

Mahirap ang trabaho ng DepEd (The job in DepEd is hard). That’s why we have to thank Inday Sara really for the effort that she put in,” he said.

Duterte announced on June 19 that she is stepping down as DepEd Secretary and vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

In her resignation letter, Duterte said she has prepared a 30-day plan to ensure a seamless transition at the DepEd.

The President said Duterte did not provide any reason for her resignation. (PNA)