Angara on DepEd post: No offer

Cecille Suerte Felipe, Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Angara on DepEd post: No offer
This file photo shows a facade of the Department of Education.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sonny Angara’s name has been floated as a possible replacement for Vice President Sara Duterte, days after she resigned as education secretary.

“No one has spoken to me about that,” Angara told Senate reporters.

He noted that he is one of three University of the Philippines graduates being considered by President Marcos to become the next chief of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual are also being considered for the post.

Angara is on his second and last term. He will leave the Senate in 2025.

He has not disclosed plans after his term ends, but he reportedly might run for a local position in his home province of Aurora.


Meanwhile, a key leader of the House of Representatives has endorsed Commission on Higher Education chair Prospero de Vera III as the next education secretary, replacing Duterte who resigned on June 19. 

Rep. Joey Salceda, chair of the House committee on ways and means, also endorsed Synergeia Foundation’s Milwida Guevara as DepEd chief. 

“Few have ever had an impact on the education sector as large as the impact these two people have had on the sector,” he said. 

De Vera’s push for funding for community colleges under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education program “helped poor and underserved communities produce more college graduates than ever before,” Salceda said. 

The free college tuition law was principally authored by Salceda. 

“We also worked together in keeping proprietary private schools alive during the pandemic. As many as 140,000 basic education students in private colleges for low-income communities would have been kicked out without our tax reduction policies and the subsidies we pushed for,” he recalled.  

Guevara is “responsible for highlighting the structural defects of the education system and what needs to be done,” Salceda noted. 

“Synergeia Foundation has also been the loudest about convening (the Second Congressional Commission on Education),” he said.  

“Before our (Program for International Student Assessment) results were a problem, Nene Guevara has already been pointing out the issues underlying basic education,” he added. 

Marcos would be wise to choose between De Vera and Guevara, he maintained. 


Leaving her Cabinet post the weekend before the third State of the Nation Address would not free Duterte from accountability, as she still has to defend her office’s budget once Congress deliberations start, according to Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas. 

Duterte “built only around 3,600 classrooms in 2023 out of the planned 6,300,” based on the second DepEd Basic Education Report released in January, the House assistant minority leader cited. 

Rep. Joel Chua earlier said that after almost two years of failed leadership, it is time for Marcos to undo the damage that Duterte has inflicted “upon teachers, schools and students” and replace her with a competent leader. 

“Judging by her own words that the UniTeam was for election purposes only, that false facade has been there since June 2022... We have had an education secretary who was living a lie, perpetuating a lie,” he said. 

“The Matatag curriculum should be put on hold. All politically motivated bullying and brainwashing in DepEd must stop now,” he added. 

Rep. Edcel Lagman is hoping that Duterte’s replacement will “come from the ranks of experienced and dedicated educators who can efficiently steer and professionally manage the educational system of the country.” 

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