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Sec Magno: additional 70,000 ghost students in ARMM discovered

ARMM’s Education Secretary John A. Magno told TNRS Rocaya S.O. Yahya in an exclusive interview that additional 70 thousand ghosts learners in ARMM are discovered through its new data base management system. tnrs 
Cotabato City| December 9, 2016

Regional Secretary John A. Magno of the Department of Education of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) admitted that there are tens of thousands of ghost learners in the region and said with the new data base they introduced, they were able to arrest additional 70 thousand ghost learners in the region.

He said this is one of the accomplishments that his department has achieved during his term as regional secretary. 

Magno said at least for a year now they have achieved a lot of accomplishments in terms of compliance to accounting and auditing rules and introducing new changes in the department’s system.

He said they were able to continue professionalizing the department of hiring best teachers in ARMM.

He said they aimed to provide the schools with highly qualified teachers and that is “why we came up with the system in the hiring for elementary and secondary teachers, at the same time those teachers who are scheduled for promotion.”

Magno said they are able to correct their data management now in which he said there is something wrong.

He said they required all their division superintendents to present to them their accomplishments in their respective divisions, and also submit their EBIS Data vis-à-vis actual head counts of students. “Because of that,” he stressed, “we are able to arriest additional 70,000 ghost learners in ARMM.”


Magno said he understood there are a lot of complaints with regards to contractors who did not finish the school buildings.

“Rest assured that we are addressing this problem,” he emphasized, “because currently we already filed against the contractors at the regional trial courts on why did they not finishthe construction.”

Magno said one major accomplishment they achieved was the knocking down of a certain official before the Supreme Court which decided with finality that indeed said official had to let go.

He was apparently referring to Marawi City Division superintendent Mona Macatanong.

Macatanong was deemed retired by ARMM’s education department. She fought back until it reached the highest court of the land.

Magno said he has a lot of things to accomplish in DepEd-ARMM although he said if he would rate himself it would be like sixty which he thought not un-passing.

He said, “We have a lot to do. First that I’d really like to do is Data Management.”

Magno pointed out that the data which is actually encoded by our school desks are forwarded to the national or central office of DepEd.

He said that data is inputted in the EBIS, “and so whatever data that we have is a basis for a teacher allocation, for MOOE and then for school building facility.”

“And these are the things that I would like to correct because there are also reports that that there are certain schools that have these allocations but certainly you don’t see students at all. So these are actually are disparity in allocation. And these are things I’d like to correct,” Magno said.

The regional secretry was happy to inform everyone that for 2017 it is now the region to determine which will determine how many teachers will be allocated in particular school., and no longer the DepEd Central.

He said “Kasi ang nangyari kung ano na ang binaba ng DepEd Central sa atin, yun na at wala tayong magawa.”

He said, “We are given the authority to determine which schools need teachers to be submitted to them.”

Magno said they were able to defend its budget for 2017 of PhP12 billion of which 96 percent goes to the salary of teachers, and 4 percent for MOOE.

When asked to comment on the statement of Civil Service Commission Regional Director Valderosa that there is no qualified in the position of Marawi schools division superintendent except Mona Macatanong, Magno pointed out that even Mona Macatanong is not qualified in the position because, first, she has no doctorate degree; second, she is not even a CESO, which is actually a requirement by law.

He said there is a Supreme Court decision requiring all SDS and ASDS in ARMM to possess third level of eligibility that they should at least be a CESO holders.

“Unfortunately,’ Magno said, “all of them do not have that eligibility including Mona Macatanong.”

Magno belied rumors that LET-passers applicants are set aside and those who are not are accepted. He said, “That’s not true because we do not process appointment. What we are doing in the region is to check if this person is eligible or not. That’s the requirement.”

He said before letting the applicant to take the TACE, the processor in the region will verify if he is actually a LET passer or not. If not, he said, he will not be allowed to take the TACE.

As regards to ranking, Magno said there is a need to rank them based on prioritization. He said it has to be based on highest and lowest.

He explained: “Assuming there are 200 applicants in Marawi but there are only thirty available items in Marawi, and, of course, we have to prioritize the top one up to thirty, for we cannot accommodate them all.”

He added that we need this type of mechanism to prioritize who will come first. We cannot accommodate the 200 applicants if we only have thirty available items.”

He said if there will be available items next time, say, twenty, the top 31 to 50 will be accommodated based on the ranking which is already in the data base. He said if there will be available items, “we will prepare their appointments. The mechanism is there for prioritization.”

Magno appealed that this is the time to work together for the benefit of the learners. He assured that as long as he is the secretary of DepEd ARMM, he will flagged the classrooms with highly competent teachers.

He said: “Gone are the days that we need to buy items to get something in return if there is a report please don’t fail to come to my office so I can investigate. If there is no report we cannot investigate. So we have to work together; and those who would like to extend their service in ARMM using illegal means, this a warning and you have to stop because I will make it sure that I will never, never gonna allow you to extend your age…”

Power in government, said Magno, is not permanent. “Masakit man tanggapin, even the Secretary, there comes a time, that he has to go. Mas maganda seguro kung aalis man ako dito sa DepEd, may legacy tayong maiiwan at maraming magpapasalamat sa atin. Hindi tayo sasabihan na iyon siya nangolekta sa akin ng pera, iyon siya nagkaso sa amin pero talunan naman. Maganda seguro iyong feeling na aalis ang namumuno na sasabihin ng iba, itong si secretary tinulungan naman nya ako na walang kapalit. Gusto ko iyong ganun na mangyayari.”

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