Briones says age, health won't hinder work as DepEd chief

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2017 04:44 PM

Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday assured the Commission on Appointments (CA) she can still do her job despite being 76 years old.

"The state of my knees has no correlation with the state of my brain," Briones said during her confirmation hearing at the Senate.

The Education chief's statement came after A-Teacher Partylist Rep. Juliet Cortuna alleged that Briones used DepEd's funds to shoulder the transportation and allowances of a personal doctor during her trip to Peru for a ministerial meeting.

Briones denied the allegation, saying the doctor was there to discuss health classes, and not to attend to her medical needs.

Briones also justified the need to convert the DepEd's Director's Lounge into her sleeping quarters.

"It is my response to traffic problems because it takes me 2 and a half hours from Fairview to Pasig... but this is a temporary arrangement," Briones said.

As an apparent defense for Briones, Sen. Franklin Drilon told Cortuna that it is normal among government officials to have beds in their places of work. 

"For the record, all senators here have beds in their offices," Drilon said.

Aside from possible health woes, Briones was also grilled about the controversial plan of the Department of Health to distribute condoms in schools. 

"Definitely, we are not going to be part of the condom distribution," Briones said.