DepEd XI celebrates 40th Founding Anniversary

September 1, 2015
By: Maria Gemima V. Galang
The Department of Education Regional Office XI celebrated its 40th Founding Anniversary on July 8 centered on the theme “40 Years of Building a Culture of Excellence, Collaboration and Partnership”.

The celebration aimed to reminisce the milestones of DepEd Region XI from its founding up to the present.  It can be recalled that DepEd XI opened its Regional Office in 1975 and was then called Department of Education and Culture by virtue of Proclamation 1081.

In 1978, it was renamed to Ministry of Education and Culture by virtue of P.D. No. 1397 providing for the conversion of departments into ministries.

The Education Act of 1982 created the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports which later became the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) in 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 117.

The structure of DECS has remained unchanged until when the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in 1994 and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 1995 were established to supervise tertiary degree programs and non-degree technical-vocational programs, respectively.

In year 2001 up to the present it was named Department of Education with RA 9155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act as its legal basis.

The first office of DepEd XI was situated in the dilapidated PTA ground which is now converted to People’s Park, a public park known for its unique structure.

After the building was razed by fire in the late ‘80s, the regional office temporarily settled in RELC in Quirino Avenue which is now known as NEAP.

In the mid-1990s, the Regional Office was able to establish its building along F. Torres St., a lot within the vicinity of Davao City National High School.

Nine regional directors (RDs) including the current RD Alberto T. Escobarte have served the region.

Dr. Pedro O. San Vicente, the first RD assigned in the region, served for 10 years until 1985.  He has the longest reign in the region.

Dr. Teofilo E. Gomez became RD from 1985 to 1990 followed by Dr. Venancio R. Nava in 1990 to 1993.

Dir. Francisco B. Concillo only served for a year from 1993 to 1994 while Dr. Susana B. Cabahug served for six years up to year 2000.

The next two RDs served for five years namely Dr. Diamar P. Kadon from 2002 to 2007 and Dir. Susana Teresa B. Estigoy from 2007-2012.

The next two directors shared a short but meaningful stint in the region.  Dr. Gloria D. Benigno became the RD for almost two years and Assistant Regional Director Nenita E. Lumaad served for less than a year as Officer-in-Charge.

Atty. Escobarte assumed Office in January 2015 and the DepEd family is hoping that he would stay long to lead the region especially that the Department is facing its greatest educational reform – the K to 12 Program.