Armin Luistro

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De La Salle Brother
Armin A. Luístro FSC
Armin Luistro.jpg
Br. Armin A. Luístro FSC in 2008, dressed in the characteristic neck bands of the La Salle Brothers
Secretary of the Philippine Department of Education
Incumbent
Assumed office
June 30, 2010
President Benigno Aquino III
Preceded by Mona Valisno
20th President of De La Salle University
In office
May 2006 – June 30, 2010
Preceded by Carmelita Quebengco
Succeeded by Narciso S. Erguiza
2nd Chancellor of De La Salle University
In office
May 2006 – June 30, 2010
Preceded by Carmelita Quebengco
Succeeded by Ricardo P. Laguda
1st President and CEO of De La Salle Philippines
In office
November 29, 2005 – May 2009
Succeeded by Ricardo P. Laguda
2nd President of De La Salle University System
In office
April 2004 – May 2006
Preceded by Andrew Gonzalez
7th Provincial of De La Salle Brothers Philippine District
In office
April 1997 – 2003
Preceded by Raymundo Suplido
Succeeded by Edmundo Fernandez
Personal details
Born Armin Altamirano Luistro
(1961-12-24) December 24, 1961 (age 52)
Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Alma mater Ateneo de Manila University
De La Salle University
Profession Academic
Religion Roman Catholicism

Brother Armin Luistro, FSC (born December 24, 1961 in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines) is a Filipino Lasallian Brother, who is the current secretary of the Department of Education of the Philippines. Luistro entered De La Salle Scholasticate (the center for academic training of De La Salle Brothers)[1] in Manila on April 1979 while he was studying in De La Salle University (DLSU).[2] He received the religious habit of the congregation on October 1981 at the La Salle Novitiate in Lipa. He professed his first religious vows on October 1982, and his final vows on May 1988.[3]

He started teaching as a religion teacher at De La Salle Lipa in 1983. He was made provincial of the De La Salle Brothers Philippine District on April 1997, a post he held until 2003.[3][4][5][6] On August 26, 2000, Luistro co-founded the De La Salle Catholic University of Manado, currently known as De La Salle University, in Indonesia with Josef Suwatan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Manado.[4][7]

On April 2004,[3] he succeeded Andrew Gonzalez as the president of De La Salle University System, consequently making him the president of eight De La Salle institutions.[8] He worked into establishing De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) which replaced the system.[9] The DLSP National Mission Council appointed him DLSP President and Chief Executive Officer on November 29, 2005.[10]

He was appointed as the Secretary of Education of the Philippines since June 30, 2010,[11][12] becoming the second De La Salle brother to hold the post—the other was Gonzalez who was in office from 1998 to 2001.[6][13] Luistro has the least net worth among Aquino's cabinet. He had ₱89,000 (US$2,060).[14] In contrast, the richest—Cesar Purisima who is Secretary of Finance—had ₱252 million (US$5.84 million).[14][15]

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have expressed skepticism over Luistro's stand on sex education citing his religious background.[16] Nevertheless, the Department of Education has included sex education in its curriculum for grade 5 to fourth year high school. Roman Catholic groups have criticized it for allegedly not covering the emotional, psychological and spiritual dimensions of sexuality.[17]

Luistro is a major proponent of the K+12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines. The program seeks to add two years to the current 10-year basic education curriculum.[18][19] Numerous parties have opposed the plan including Ateneo de Manila University President Bienvenido Nebres and progressive groups of students, teachers and parents.[20]

Educational background[edit]

Luistro was born on December 24, 1961, to José Dimayuga Luistro and Magdalena Aranda Altamirano-Luistro in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines. He attended first grade at Our Lady of the Rosary Academy in Lipa, grades 2 to 5 at Canossa Academy also in Lipa, and graduated elementary and high school at De La Salle Lipa. He pursued his undergraduate studies at De La Salle University in Manila under a scholarship, and was conferred Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Letters on March 1981.[3][4] When asked in a Manila Bulletin interview in 2009, he shared that he had spent most of his education in Batangas, and since DLSU had no uniforms, he "wore all the badúy [unfashionable] type of shirts",[9] as he put it, using the Tagalog word for "unfashionable", while most of his classmates were from elite high schools. Thus he says "I supposed [they] laughed at me."[9]

In 1981 he entered into a program in Ateneo de Manila University, and was awarded a Certificate in Formation Institute for Religious Educators in 1985. He enrolled in a graduate program in DLSU in 1991, and was conferred a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education in 1993.[4] He also graduated with a master's degree in religious education and values formation at the same university in 2003. He was conferred a doctorate degree in educational management on May 2005.[3]

He was made Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, by La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States on May 9, 2004.[3]

Religious and academic career[edit]

Luistro entered the De La Salle Scholasticate (the center for academic training of De La Salle Brothers)[1] in Manila on April 1979,[2] and received the religious habit on October 1981 at the La Salle Novitiate in Lipa. He professed his first religious vows on October 1982, and his final vows on May 1988.[3] In the Manila Bulletin interview, he said that teaching was the reason why he entered the congregation.[9]

He started teaching as a religion teacher at De La Salle Lipa in 1983. He moved to La Salle Greenhills in 1986. He was made provincial of the De La Salle Brothers Philippine District on April 1997, a post he held until 2003.[3][4][5][6]

On August 26, 2000, Luistro co-founded the De La Salle Catholic University of Manado, currently known as De La Salle University, in Indonesia with Josef Suwatan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Manado.[4][7] DLSU in Manila supervised initial operations before it was transferred to the Philippine District.[21]

On April 2004,[3] he succeeded Andrew Gonzalez as the president of De La Salle University System, consequently making him the president of eight De La Salle institutions. In his inaugural speech, he acknowledged the "multiversity" concept of Gonzalez who established the system. In which structure, DLSU served as the flagship while other De La Salle institutions specialized in fields like agriculture, alternative education and medicine.[8]

He did, however, find the system's structure unfeasible. He worked into establishing De La Salle Philippines which replaced the system. Under the reorganization, other De La Salle institutions were included in the network—a total of 17. Each De La Salle institution was autonomous and had its own president.[9] The DLSP National Mission Council appointed him DLSP President and Chief Executive Officer on November 29, 2005.[10]

Political involvement[edit]

Luistro called for the resignation of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the height of the Hello Garci scandal in 2005.[11] In which time, he became close to the Aquino family, a prominent political family in the Philippines. He also delivered a homily (named Cory, the Heart of a Saint) during the wake of former President Corazon Aquino, and said "our closeness with her was really borne out of that period [Hello Garci scandal], none of her children went to La Salle."[9][13]

Work in the Department of Education[edit]

Current President Benigno Aquino III, Corazon's son, appointed him as the secretary of the Department of Education.[11] He was inaugurated on June 30, 2010,[12] becoming the second De La Salle brother to hold the post—the other was Gonzalez who was in office from 1998 to 2001.[6][13]

Aquino gave Luistro two years to address problems, including insufficient books, classrooms and teachers. Luistro estimates a lack of 130,000 teachers, 72,000 classrooms, 7 million desks, 141,000 comfort rooms and 96 million books.[22]

As of December 2010, Luistro has the least net worth among Aquino's cabinet. He had 89,000 (US$2,060).[14] In contrast, the richest—Cesar Purisima who is Secretary of Finance—had ₱252 million (US$5.84 million).[14] He declared an annual gross salary of ₱989,496 (US$22,900).[14][15]

Sex education[edit]

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have expressed skepticism over Luistro's stand on sex education citing his religious background. Meanwhile, Luistro's predecessor, Mona Valisno expressed her confidence with Luistro.[16]

The Department of Education has included sex education in its curriculum for grade 5 to fourth year high school. Roman Catholic groups have criticized it for allegedly not covering the emotional, psychological and spiritual dimensions of sexuality.[17] Likewise, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan Oscar V. Cruz criticized Luistro for his alleged lack of comment regarding the Reproductive Health Bill, which proposes to integrate sex education in public schools. He appealed Luistro to "stop teaching lewd studies [sex education] in schools" (trans.).[23]

Luistro stated that sex education was not his priority.[17] He instead wanted to focus on streamlining the bureaucracy of DepEd, which employs 600,000 employees (501,158 of which are teachers).[24] In line with this, he announced on December 28, 2010 that DepEd would terminate all of its 67 consultants by the end of the year. The DepEd-National Employees Union, in response, has called for his resignation. Luistro argued, however, that "streamlining is a must" as bulk of the department's budget goes to funding the salary of its employees.[25]

K+12 Basic Education Program[edit]

Luistro is a major proponent of the K+12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines. The program seeks to add two years to the current 10-year basic education curriculum, and make graduates more competitive. The program involves kindergarten, six years of elementary, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school. Kindergarten was required in 2011 while senior high school is planned to be included in the curriculum by 2016.[26] DepEd said that 77 percent of its participants in fora are in favor of the change.[18][19] Before its implementation in 2011, the Philippines was the only country in Asia which employed 10 years of basic education—all other countries had 12.[27] Numerous parties have opposed the plan including Ateneo de Manila University President Bienvenido Nebres and progressive groups of students, teachers and parents.[20] A spokesperson of No To K–12 Alliance said:

The fact that it will aggravate the financial burden of parents and that the Aquino proposed education budget cannot resolve the shortages even under the current 10-year system clearly explains the program's foolishness. The education budget clearly explains why the K-12 program is a stupid move. Education budgets for the past years were unable to resolve the ballooning shortages in basic education and with the current proposed budget under Aquino, the shortages will continue to balloon. Adding two years will just add salt to the already rotting wound of basic education.

—Ayla Garduce, The Daily Tribune[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae". De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  2. ^ a b Lira Dalangin-Fernandez (2010-06-25). "Solon to Luistro: View sex education with an open mind". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Br. (Brother) Armin Altamirano Luistro FSC". Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization. 2010-06-31. Retrieved 2011-06-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Bro. Armin Luistro". Philippine Information Agency. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  5. ^ a b "Tenure of Brother Visitors". De La Salle Alumni Association. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  6. ^ a b c d 2010-06-24. "Philippines - Brother Armin Luistro becomes Philippines' Education Secretary". Brothers of the Christian Schools - La Salle. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  7. ^ a b Revi R.H.M. Tanod (2010-09-02). "Vision and mission of Universitas Katolik De La Salle Manado - Indonesia". "Spirituality in Education: Integrating Lasallian Spirituality into Curriculum". Jurnal Lasallian (Manado: De La Salle University) 7 (2): 2. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  8. ^ a b "The Br. Armin Inaugural Address". De La Salle University–Dasmariñas Newsette (De La Salle University–Dasmariñas): 3–4. 2004-09-04. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Jaser Marasigan et al (2009-12-05). "Oh Brother!". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  10. ^ a b Cherry Amor Dugtong (February 2006). "One La Salle Synergy for Mission". Philippine Lasallian Famili (Manila: De La Salle Brothers Philippine District) 7 (3): 10. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  11. ^ a b c "DLSU president, tinanggap ang pagiging Education secretary sa Aquino administration" (in Tagalog). DZMM 630. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  12. ^ a b "Aquino swears in new Cabinet". ABS–CBN News. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  13. ^ a b c Ina Hernando-Malipot (2010-06-24). "Luistro accepts DepEd post". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Approximate conversion value as of June 2011
  15. ^ a b Christina Mende (2010-12-02). "Purisima richest, Luistro poorest in Cabinet". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  16. ^ a b c Ina Hernando-Malipot (2010-06-29). "Teachers groups wary of Luistro appointment". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  17. ^ a b c VVP (2010-07-09). "Sex ed not Bro. Luistro's priority". GMA News. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  18. ^ a b AH; Sunnex (2011-05-01). "'Genuine' consultation on K+12 education program sought". Sun.Star Manila. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  19. ^ a b "K-12 education program gets widespread support, says Luistro". Malaya (Manila). 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  20. ^ a b c Jason Faustino (2010-09-30). "Add’l 2 years to current 10-year basic education cycle opposed". The Daily Tribune (Trade Union Congress of the Philippines). Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  21. ^ Brother Vincent Corkery. "The Story of PARC". Brothers of the Christian Schools. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  22. ^ "DEPED Secretary Armin Luistro, Binigyan ng Dalawang Taon Para Ayusin ang mga Problema sa Edukasyon" (in Tagalog). DZME 1530 kHz. 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  23. ^ "Archbishop Cruz, Duda sa DepEd". DZAR 1026 Sonshine Radio Online. 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  24. ^ Gigi Muñoz David (2010-07-11). "Luistro’s priority". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  25. ^ AH; Sunnex (2010-12-28). "DepEd to terminate all consultants". Sun.Star Manila. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  26. ^ "Luistro says Enhanced K+12 Program Leads to Shorter College Years". Manila Bulletin. Philippine News Agency. 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  27. ^ Marjorie Gorospe (2011-06-02). "PH only country in Asia still with 10-year basic education – DepEd". Yahoo! News. 

External links[edit]