ANGELES CITY — Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones stressed the need to maintain not only political freedom, but also economic and cultural independence in order to achieve lasting prosperity and oneness of nation.
In her speech during the 119th Independence Day celebration at Pamintuan Mansion, Briones cited that as we celebrate political independence from other countries, we have to struggle for economic and social, as well as cultural independence.
“Admittedly, until now, we are still very dependent to other nations. Our economy is still very much tied to bigger economies. Not only our economy, but also our social systems, way of living and our culture. That is why we need to work on this by developing our own forms of culture which is appropriate to this time,” she said.
With this, she noted the significant contributions of the Kapampangan Center for Arts and Culture in constantly advocating Philippine culture because at times, the cultures of foreign nations become so powerful that we tend to forget our own.
In addition, Briones said while we adhere to political independence, we have to struggle for and protect our nation from the threats of terrorism, which aims to divide the Filipino people.
“We at the Department of Education (DepEd), are doing our best to contribute to normalization by opening our classes on time, by opening the doors of our schools to all children, whatever they are, wherever they are, whatever their parents believe in, because children have nothing to do with ideology, with all the struggles and the fight that is going on,” the cabinet official furthered.
The third type of freedom, which we should be aiming at, is freedom from poverty and many of the social ills, which our country is facing at present.
Briones said the ultimate root of all conflicts in our country is poverty that is why DepEd is doing its best to reach all children who should be in school because they believe that education is really one of the keys to get out of the cycle of poverty.
In closing, she prompted everyone to move forward as a country—a whole and independent country, if we want to achieve and share prosperity.
“We have to be independent economically. We don’t have to be told by any powerful country what we should do with ourselves, what we will do with our resources, and what we will do with our foreign policy,” she concluded. –Marie Joy L. Simpao