“You are role models of the youth. It is through your lenses that they view the world.”

This was how Hon. Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III recognized the role of the Department of Education (DepEd) in developing the future of the nation through the youth, as guided by transparent, ethical, and accountable (TEA) governance practices of the key officials from 20 DepEd divisions during the CALABARZON-wide TEA Governance Forum, Feb. 23, at the Ynares Center, Antipolo City, Rizal.

Senate President Pimentel also reiterated the essence of public service as he encouraged the TEA practitioners to share with the government’s mandate of delivering the needs of “the poorest first, the poor second”.

Civil Service Council (CSC) Regional Director (RD) Karlin Litz Zerna also imparted the council’s initiatives observing the same principles.

Aiming to collaboratively work towards a common goal, the 20 Divisions showcased their best TEA practices through poster and video presentations. A TEA Governance Song Writing Competition highlighted the forum intending to select the best anthem to promote the region’s plight.

An improvisational theater act from SPIT entertained the crowd prior to the delivery of the contest’s results. Among 18 submissions, five pre-selected Division song entries qualified to the live Song Interpretation Contest. Cavite City’s song entry entitled “Pamumuno” won the best song and interpretation awards.

Earlier on, DepEd-CALABARZON RD Diosdado San Antonio commended the Divisions for embracing the region’s TEA principles and reminded the adherents regarding the need to live simply in order to not forget everyone’s accountability.

Moreover, RD San Antonio shared how the TEA Governance gradually diminished the number of complaints received by the department from 2014 (1,221 complaints) until 2016 (900). He also encouraged everyone to join a RIOT, an acronym coined to sum up the points he wished for the participants to observe in carrying out further the TEA principles.

“Respect, clear intentions, optimism, and trust will certainly make us more transparent, ethical and accountable in leading and managing schools and organizations that deliver positive outcomes,” he expounded as he recalled the 12 do’s for TEA governance (SCOUTERS ROCK). (Rey Ann Maramag, PDO I-CID)