A bit late on this news but still worth knowing by everyone especially the residents of Paranaque:
May 22, 2011
Manila, Philippines – The division of Department of Education (DepEd) in Parañaque City confirmed yesterday that it recently held a three-day seminar in the luxurious Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Zamboanga del Norte.
Glenn Ducta, program architect, justified the outing, even as he told The STAR that the seminar on gender and development benefited the division’s non-teaching personnel – particularly janitors, drivers, and clerks.
In a separate phone interview, division superintendent Joel San Luis said the seminar, held from May 6 to 8, and was “funded by the city government.”
“It had the approval of the higher-ups,” San Luis said.
Ducta and San Luis added that the funds were taken from the five percent allotment in their yearly budget for the said seminar.
San Luis and Ducta said they did not join the seminar but 52 employees of DepEd Parañaque attended the outing.
They denied reports that some of the staff brought their families with them. Neither official could not say how much was spent for the seminar but San Luis said he initially used his three credit cards to cover the P150,000 “downpayment” that Dakak asked of them.
“The budget was not yet ready so I used my credit cards to pay for the downpayment,” he said, adding P50,000 was credited to each of his cards.
Asked why it had to be in Dakak and not nearby venues, San Luis said the staff was “exploring (other) places where they can learn.”
He said Dakak is “a good laboratory of experiences.”
Among their guest speakers is former Zamboanga del Norte governor Romeo Jaloslos, who he said shared his experiences as an ex-convict found guilty of acts of lasciviousness.
Ducta also justified the venue by saying that Jalosjos is the best person to talk about gender and development. “I want them to see the real world,” Ducta said.
Like San Luis, Ducta could not say how much was spent on the outing but said “my conscience is clear because I did not pocket the money.”
He also said the money used for the seminar was allotted for the program and not for any procurement or purchases.
In a separate interview, DepEd media coordinator Boots Bautista, told The STAR that Secretary Armin Luistro was not aware of the seminar.
She added that Luistro has already asked DepEd National Capital Regional director Elena Ruiz to explain why the seminar was allowed.
“They (Parañaque DepEd division) were already about to leave when we found out,” Bautista said.
Just last month, Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo warned all local government units against holding government-funded out-of-town seminars after it was discovered that hundreds of barangay employees of Pasig City went to Boracay for a seminar.
You guys be the judges…