It is with utmost thanks to our God Almighty that we bid farewell to 2021, after we braved and have thrived the biggest challenge of our generation. COVID-19 has fiercely overturned the regularity of our routines and made our societal systems more complicated, allowing our government to exercise a more controlling mode of governance as the situation demands the upholding of general welfare. Even the educational set-up that we used to undertake through the face-to-face mode had to be discharged using the alternative distance learning modalities since 2020, after the government has declared the National Public Health Emergency.  If it was a difficult decision on the part of DepED management to decide for Learning Continuity, it was even more difficult for the teachers in the field to step up for the field exploration of those identified learning options for our learners during the pandemic period. My salute to all the teachers and school managers for creatively responding to and enduring the challenges of the pandemic. The success of our stake for learning continuity was evidenced by the schools’ respective Learning Continuity Plans and substantiated by high percentage of completion rate and the subsequent increase in enrolment for the school year 2021-2022.

          As stakeholders in educational endeavor, while we welcome the year 2022 with full excitement and with higher expectations for life’s convenience, Learning Continuity for our students must withstand- scaffolded by all possible, legal, and alternative strategic platforms.  As enshrined in our commitment to the profession, teachers’ creativity and resiliency should have primacy as forefront attributes in continuously and consistently discharging our mandates in times of emergency.  Of course, non-teaching and my co-workers at the Division Office proper are effectively engaged in this commitment.  Let us all share our individual ideas and learned personal experiences in all our collaboration efforts, in as much as we are working as one organization and driving towards a common goal- that of “producing Filipinos who passionately love their country”. 

            To all our students, we are aware about your predicament as you traverse this difficult period of your journey, as you have been temporarily deprived of your opportunity for physical face-to-face platform of learning modality. On the other hand, the situation had also given you the opportunity to maximize other available learning platforms, more time for bonding with your respective family members, and for your parents and other family members to act as your temporary in-person teacher/s.  Just keep on striving with the use of your talents and skills, and hold on to your dreams for yourself, family, and your country.

          To all parents and those acting as parents of our students, please allow me to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your consistent support to your children and the Department of Education.  Let us be united in our effort and quest for the best kind of education for your children.

          To our external stakeholders, the Local Government Unit of Naga City, all Barangay LGUs, and other partners from government agencies and the private sector, thank you very much for all your support, attention, and shared dreams for the best interest of young generation.  I hope to upgrade and expand our level of partnership this 2022.

           Finally, though Naga City has recently figured a COVID-FREE status which could descriptively complement to what we used to call our place as “An Maogmang Lugar”, we should not put our guard down as there was no showing of congruency of figure with that in the national level and even in the wealthy and powerful countries in the international level.  We are not yet out of the woods.  As we all believe in science as backbone of generating the best alternative option (Vaccination) in dealing with the challenges of diseases such as the COVID-19, let us continuously encourage our respective families, co-workers, and friends to avail of the free vaccines being generously offered to us by our government.

           Happy New Year to everyone!