DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants CNN hero Efren Peñaflorida Jr. as the next chairman of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).
In his speech during the Davao media Christmas gathering, Duterte said he want Peñaflorida to head the PCUP as he fully understands the the situation of the poor and the marginalized sector.
Efren Peñaflorida, 35, is a Filipino teacher and development worker, who offers Filipino youth an alternative to street gangs through education, recreating school settings in unconventional locations such as cemeteries and trash dumps, says his Wikipedia.
A social worker and teacher, Peñaflorida was hailed CNN Hero of the Year in 2009 for his work in “Kariton Klasrum”, a project that aims to make school accessible to Filipino street children through pushcarts as mobile classrooms.
Duterte’s decision to appoint Peñaflorida came after he ordered the firing of all commissioners of the urban poor commission over junkets and their supposed failure to hold meetings.
Aside from Peñaflorida, Duterte is also considering Davao’s very own hero, Randy Halasan.
Halasan, 35, is a public school teacher who won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for nurturing his Matigsalug students and their community to transform their lives through quality education and sustainable livelihoods.
Duterte said dismissed PCUP chairman Terry Ridon traveled seven time since his appointment in September 2016.
Under Executive Order 82, the PCUP serves as the direct link of the urban poor to the government in policy formulation and program implementation addressed to their needs. Peñaflorida has yet to respond to Duterte’s invitation.-Editha Z. Caduaya with reports from PNA
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