/ 17 November 2020

A PARTYLIST representative on Monday said that the Department of Education should not just apologize for the shaming of actress Angel Locsin but must also sanction those involved in the incident.

Rep. Ronnie Ong of the Ang Probinsyano Partylist said that the DepEd should not just dismiss this issue because it undermines the credibility of the country’s teaching profession.

“What is happening with DepEd under Secretary Leonor Briones? Let me remind Secretary Briones that apart from teaching our kids on how to read, write, do math and understand science, the DepEd should also teach our children good manners and respect to their fellowmen,” Ong said.

“Dismissing this issue as something that can just go away easily is completely wrong. People who are responsible for this kind of disrespect must be held responsible for their actions. Hindi puwedeng sorry lang, okay na,” he added.

Ong said what is revolting is the fact that while Congress has passed laws to stop bullying, especially in schools, the DepEd is teaching very young minds that it is alright to denigrate people by calling them names.

Ong said the explanation of DepEd’s School Division Superintendent Roger Safa that the module was made by a teacher is an admission that DepEd has no control over what is being taught to students.

The lawmaker said that it is Safa’s responsibility to make sure that the teachers in his division are competent and are morally equipped to teach young kids.

“They should not use the honorable doctrine of ‘academic freedom’ as an excuse. School division heads and school principals are there to ensure that our teachers are properly supervised. It is bad enough that Safa did not even check the horrible grammar that was used on their teaching material — but the one describing Angel as obese takes it to the next level. It is not right to normalize discrimination and bullying to impressionable young students,” Ong said.