COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Members of the 24-seat Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Wednesday confirmed the appointment as regional education secretary of the firebrand industrial psychologist John Magno.
Senior education officials from across ARMM attended the confirmation proceedings initiated in Cotabato City by the RLA’s influential Commission on Appointments.
Magno was appointed by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman early this year as secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the autonomous region.
Magno has been active in furthering Hataman’s reform agenda for DepEd-ARMM, touted as the most corrupt regional agency in the autonomous region.
The DepEd-ARMM was so mismanaged during the time of past regional governors that its payrolls were anomalously padded with thousands of ghost teachers.
The agency had also facilitated the regular release of operating funds to non-existent schools which Magno and Hataman removed from the list of legitimate elementary and high school institutions in the region via an extensive cleansing process started in 2012.
Magno was known for his being fiery in his statements about mismanagement of schools in the ARMM’s five provinces, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
He earned the ire of many politicians in the region for rejecting recommendations blindly endorsing applicants without licenses to teaching positions.
Magno and Hataman both expressed gratitude to all members of the RLA for giving their nod to his appointment as member of the regional cabinet.
The RLA is also known as the “Little Congress” of ARMM.