May 6, 2016
Dear Parents, Teachers and Colleagues in the Education Sector,
Everyone wants change. Indeed, our nation needs change—just as the education system had warranted a major overhaul through the K to 12 program. After all, this need for change was the reason behind our resolve to implement the K to 12 reform amidst the many challenges before it. The kind of change that we need the most at this point is the one that shall build on the foundations of education reform that we have already painstakingly laid and not the kind that will seek to undo this. Most of all, it is a change in attitude that we need; particularly, in how we use our right to suffrage.
Our ability to choose is a gift that we received from democracy, and—without exaggeration—it is also the greatest power we possess. Come May 9, this power will be put to the test: whether you use it on a whim, or to ensure that your children will have a bright future ahead of them, the choice that you will make on that day will dictate the course of your lives and where this country will be in the next six years. And I emphasize, in the next six years. Thus, I urge you to make sure that your vote will not be one that will have you look back to the day you shaded those circles, and will have you keep telling yourself: I should’ve, I would’ve, I could’ve.
You may have already made your choice at this point, but let me bring you back to the crossroads and remind you that in making that choice, you should base your votes on the needs of your nation and not your own. It is your duty to “protect and promote the right of every Filipino to quality, equitable, culture-based and complete basic education” so that they “form values and competencies” that will “enable them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the nation”. Our 24 million learners are our future, but the foundations of their future will lie in the hands of the leaders that we will place in office. You all owe it to our 24 million learners to vote wisely.
I urge you all to choose someone who will promote an environment that is child-friendly, safe, nurturing and value-driven. Your candidate should exude the core values that we hold dear here at the Department of Education: maka-Diyos, maka-tao, makakalikasan, and makabansa. Choose someone who is God-fearing and who lives out a compassionate, honest, and moral life. Our nation needs someone who respects the rights and dignity of every human being, and promotes truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace. Choose someone who has a track record in building a just and humane society, and someone who values the conservation and development of the earth that our forefathers have bequeathed us.
Dear electorates, driven by these core values, let your conscience guide you in selecting our new leaders. Discern your choice well and let not survey results, big promises, or mass popularity dictate your candidate preferences. At the end of the day, look at each candidate and assess who among them—beyond their proposed plans and platforms—possesses the values and characteristics that we want our students to model and emulate, and who has shown not only in words but also in deeds that he or she can bring this nation towards progress.
Be the change that you want for our country by making the well-informed vote that our nation deserves. At the end of this electoral process, let us accept the outcome with graciousness in our hearts and a continued resolve to promote the welfare of our learners.
BR. ARMIN A. LUISTRO FSC
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