Shekinah Jedidiah Alima

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on July 2 that Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara would be the next secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Photo Courtesy of Facebook/Senate of the Philippines.

In a press release on Tuesday, Marcos disclosed that Angara is taking over for Vice President Sara Duterte, who resigned from the position on June 19 for undisclosed reasons.

During his speech at Malacañang, the President highlighted the vital role Angara will play in leading DepEd, calling it “arguably the most important department” due to education’s importance in the nation’s development. 

According to Marcos, Angara “has agreed to take on the brief of the Department of Education.”

A press release on Tuesday revealed that Angara attained recommendations from the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU).

Marcos explained that Angara was selected deliberately, provided there were many candidates for the post. He, then, highlighted the senator’s educational background and experience as key factors in his selection. 

Angara graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics, took his Master of Laws from Harvard University and proceeded with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines. 

A senator since 2013, Angara boasts an “extensive legislative history,” according to the Presidential Communications Office. 

He has authored over 330 laws during his 18 years in Congress, including the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which provides free tuition to students in state and local universities, and the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (K-12) that extended basic education to include Senior High School. 

Angara also sponsored Republic Act 10963, or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that drew flak for increasing the value-added tax for sugar and oil products in the country.