Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro introduced to personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) its new set of undersecretaries during the flag ceremony on Monday.

“This is the team we will be working with in the next few years,” said Luistro. “They were chosen based on their competence and dedication to public service.”

Of the four newly appointed undersecretaries, one has been a career employee for over 40 years and the rest are new to DepEd.

“Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano has been with DepEd for 43 years,” said Luistro of the lone career appointee and only female in the group. “Her long experience and historical knowledge of existing programs and projects make her fit to hold the position of Undersecretary for Programs and Projects.”

The other members of the new administration are Undersecretary Alberto Muyot for Legal and Legislative Affairs, Undersecretary Rizalino Rivera for Regional Operations, and Undersecretary Francisco Varela for Finance and Administration.

“Like me, they too sought divine intervention before they accepted my invitation to join the department,” quips Luistro. “After much reflection, they decided to respond to the call to help make a difference and accepted my invitation.”

Quijano began her career as an elementary school teacher immediately after finishing her degree in elementary education at the Leyte Normal School. For more than forty years, she occupied various positions focusing on primary and special education until she was appointed to her current post.

A cum laude graduate from the University of the Philippines College of Law, Muyot taught and practiced law, so to speak. He taught in his Alma Mater as well as in the Angeles University Foundation, FEU-DLSU Law, Lyceum and Miriam College. He also practiced law in both private and public capacity.

Muyot is designated as the official spokesperson of the Department of Education in response to the directive given by President Noynoy Aquino’s communications team.

Rivera is a known change and organizational development expert who served as a consultant to various local and multinational corporations. He is seen to fit the job perfectly given the changes planned for implementation in the government’s biggest bureaucracy. Before he was invited to join the Luistro team, he was consultant to Change Consultants, Inc. and HBC, Inc.

Meanwhile, the new finance officer, Varela, has had a long experience in financial management and administration. He finished his degree in Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City as magna cum laude. He was president and CEO of the AB Capital and Investment Corporation before he was invited to join the education portfolio.

Luistro said that while they have assigned initial responsibilities to the newly appointed Undersecretaries, they are still in the process of reviewing the organizational structure of the department. “Prior to determining a formal structure, I have asked them to review and supervise their respective departments so as not to disrupt the day to day operations of the agency,” he added.

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