New DepEd-6 leaders tout ‘champion’ stakeholders

By Joseph B.A. Marzan


The new leadership at the Department of Education-Region 6 (DepEd-6) on Tuesday said that it will magnify the regional office’s branding as “champions” by focusing on improving learning delivery amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The DepEd-6 held a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Mar. 16, to introduce its new Regional Director, Dr. Ramir Uytico, and OIC Assistant Regional Director, Dr. Pedro Escobarte, Jr., who both came from the DepEd Region 8 office.

Both Uytico and Escobarte praised the hard work and determination of the DepEd and school officials, as well as the parents and learners, in cooperating with each other throughout the pandemic.

Uytico said that throughout the course of the “new normal” school year, there were little to no complaints to the DepEd and that issues were already resolved at the school level.

He added that with the work of local and regional officials, he and Escobarte will only “fortify and enhance what had been started”.

He also announced today’s launching of two key projects – the regional “mantra” and the establishment of local farm schools.

Uytico cited the region’s tagline “home of the champions” saying that they will maximize it to all education stakeholders, including DepEd-6, division, and district officials, as well as principals, teachers, parents, and learners.

This also includes indigenous learners, Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners, and learners with special needs.

“If we talk about inclusivity in education, if we talk about education for all, we will give importance to all. A champion is not only someone who wins in a competition, but it is someone who values his or her own self and determines his or her own birth right of selfhood and self-determination,” Uytico said in a press conference on Tuesday.

As to the establishment of farm schools, Uytico said that it will be catered to “poor and deserving students.

He cited Republic Act No. 10618 (Rural Farm Schools Act), signed into law in 2013, which provided for the establishment of public and private farm schools in rural areas, which he said had not yet been implemented in any region in the country.

He also said that he had the support of DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

“Sometimes, with the DepEd, we only think of elementary, secondary, and senior high, and sometimes we don’t think about where our learners go after senior high. It is true that there is free college education, but the reality is that not all of our students will pass the entrance exam. So if we want inclusivity in education, I hope we could have programs for those who are poor but deserving,”

The new regional director also mentioned mental health programs, saying that while they can only work within their means, they will make sure to maximize mental health programs for all stakeholders.

He also plans to seek the support of other agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“My personal opinion is that, we really need [investments in mental health]. But of course, the [DepEd] only operates within its limitations. We are dependent on the budget downloaded by the central office, but I’m sure there has to be an allocation there for mental health,” he said.

Uytico also said that the DepEd-6 will see to it that all learners will reach the passing grade of 75 percent at the end of the school year.

“We will not let it slip that by the end of our school year, we would have high percentage of I’m sure that our learners, parents, teachers and principals are having a hard time, so let’s focus on the positive for helping the learners up to the end of the school year,” he said.