Kidapawan mayor wants ‘discourtesou’ DepEd exec out

In a letter addressed to the city council through Vice Mayor Luis Malaluan, Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco urged the legislators to pass a resolution addressed to Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapuz calling for the immediate recall of the appointment of Dr. Joel San Luis as city’s schools division superintendent.Gantuangco said that they were not even formally informed of San Luis’ appointment.

“He (San Luis) just showed up on July 2 and told everybody that he’s the new schools division superintendent. That surprised us so much,” Gantuangco said.During his inauguration last August 2, the mayor, upon learning that San Luis was in attendance, bluntly told the audience that the latter’s appointment was unacceptable. 

“Though Dr. San Luis is already here, it does not mean that his presence is welcome because his appointment did not pass through due process, like consultation with the LGU (local government unit),” he said during his inauguration. 

Three weeks later, when Gantuangco received several complaints against San Luis, he was forced to write a letter addressed to the city council which certified it as urgent.

One of the complaints alleged that the superintendent insulted a principal in front of her teachers when she was told to explain some issues concerning the school.

In his letter, Gantuangco said there are school administrators from the city who are more qualified and competent than San Luis.  “Thus, San Luis’ appointment has only belittled the intent of the law calling for localization in terms of appointments to vacant government positions,” he stressed. 

San Luis, in a radio interview, explained that his assumption as city schools superintendent was not an ‘appointment’ but only a reassignment.

“It means, I am just here as an overseer to make sure there is proper functioning of the programs of the DepEd, and at the same time, help in working towards full autonomy of this division,” he said.

The schools division is still interim. It means it is still not autonomous in terms of duties and functions, including those that concern financial matters.

Since 2001 when it became a chartered city, the LGU, through the city council, has been working to make a separate schools division.

San Luis said he was just sent to Kidapawan City to iron out things before the division becomes autonomous. 

“The DepEd is initiating moves to make this division independent and autonomous.  In doing so, they will need somebody to organize the division,” he explained. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)