DepEd Undersecretary Francisco Varela dies
MANILA, Philippines – Education Undersecretary Francisco Varela died on Saturday, August 29, the Department of Education announced.
"The Department of Education (DepEd) deeply mourns the loss of one of its greatest officials in the person of Francis M. Varela, Undersecretary for Finance and Administration," DepEd said in a statement on Saturday.
Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo said that Varela, 47, died in an accident in Pililla, Rizal.
The DepEd said Varela, who was appointed undersecretary early in the Aquino administration in 2010, was "very instrumental in forging ahead education reforms particularly in ensuring that every cent in the education budget is spent judiciously."
"He was a staunch advocate of anti-corruption efforts in the Department and played a very important role in instituting reforms to ensure that ethical standards are observed in all transactions involving the agency," it added.
The DepEd said that in his 5 years with the department, Varela proved to be a "highly principled man" with "a sharp mind, a willingness to make tough decisions, and...compassion for the Filipino learner."
"We are one with his family in this difficult time and one with the nation in mourning the loss of an extraordinary public servant," DepEd said.
Varela, an investment banker by profession, graduated magna cum laude in Mathematics at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, and finished his Master of Science in Industrial Economics at then-Center for Research and Communication (now University of Asia and the Pacific).
Varela was a faculty member of the Center for Research and Communication for two years and program director of the center's Industrial Economics program.
He also spent a decade with the business sector, having served as Chief Operating Officer and President of AsianBank Capital and Investment Corporation, and the head of the Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications of the AB Capital Group.
For the past 5 years, he helped the department in implementing various education reform, especially in its preparations for the full implementation of the K to 12 program, which was enacted in 2013. – Rappler.com