Duterte eyes 2009 CNN Global Hero to head Presidential Commission for Urban Poor
President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to appoint Efren Penaflorida, whose unconventional education work in the slums of Cavite made him a global hero by US cable news firm CNN, as the new chairman of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).
“Per the President’s speech last night before the Davao media, PRRD ( President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) has expressed his desire to appoint somebody who hails from the poor and marginalized sector to the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP),” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Saturday.
Roque said Duterte did not mention Penaflorida by name but mentioned "the teacher with the pushcart who is a CNN awardee."
Penaflorida, CNN reported in 2009, would stock a pushcart with books, notebooks, ballpens and pencils and go to the slum areas in Cavite he would conduct impromptu classes. Penaflorida, who has a degree in secondary education, has volunteers in this project which is nearly a decade old.
Penaflorida won CNN's Hero of the Year award for 2009.
Roque said Duterte directed his special assistant to ask Penaflorida about his offer.
“PRRD instructed Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go to look for that person, apparently referring to Mr. Efren Penaflorida, and ask him regarding the chief executive’s offer for him to join the administration,” he said.
Roque emphasized that nothing is certain yet, “everything has to go through a process.”
“The other party has yet to give a response. Both parties also need to personally discuss and thresh out expectations to the job and/or position,” he said.
If he accepts Penaflorida will replace former PCUP Chairman Terry Ridon who was fired by Duterte together with its commissioners because of alleged unnecessary travels and their failure to hold hearings. Robina Asido/DMS