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DepEd persuaded to toss 'God-loving' from its vision?

Education Secretary Armin Luistro speaks at a Cebu City convention in September 2010. The POC/CC BY-NC-SA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) recently revised its vision-mission statement apparently omitting the phrase "God-loving" in describing the kind of Filipinos that the academic sector aims to hone.

Addressing concerns over the noted revision, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said Friday that the agency's vision, mission and core values statements "serve as guiding principles" in the thrust to provide quality education.

The older DepEd vision states:

By 2030, DepEd is globally recognized for good governance and for developing functionally-literate and God-loving Filipinos.

The rewritten vision now reads:

We dream of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose values and competencies enable them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the nation ...

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Merely skimming on the reasons for the revision, Luistro said in the statement that the "living" document is meant to be read as a whole and is "not static and not intended for mere posting on walls and tables."

Secularist movement Filipino Freethinkers on February 5, 2013 wrote a letter to DepEd denouncing the phrases "God-loving" in its vision and "Maka-Diyos" in its core values to respect those who do not believe in God.

Members of the group said in online posts that the new DepEd vision may have been due to their request to remove "God-loving Filipinos" phrase from the key document.

DepEd, however, retained the original core values with the phrase "maka-Diyos" or "godly" in the new statement.

The core values that ground us are Maka-Diyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan, at Makabansa.

Luistro said that the "passion for the country" that DepEd aims to instill in learners is "anchored on a set of core values."

He also insisted that the department's vision, mission and core values is "one document and should be read in its entirety to grasp the full meaning."

"It is meant to permeate and to affect the way we behave and how we find solutions to complex issues. It is meant to be part of public discourse and personal transformation," Luistro said.

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