Ramon Magsaysay winner appointed urban poor commissioner

Pia Ranada

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Ramon Magsaysay winner appointed urban poor commissioner
President Rodrigo Duterte appoints Randy Halasan, an award-winning public school teacher from Davao City, and Normal Brillantes Baloro as Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor commissioners

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen two Mindanaoans to be commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).

These are public school teacher and Ramon Magsaysay award-winner Randy Halasan and Norman Brillantes Baloro.

Duterte signed their appointment papers on Tuesday, January 16. 

Last December, the President sacked all 5 PCUP commissioners, including its chairman Terry Ridon, for supposedly going on extravagant travels and not meeting as a collegial body.

Duterte is yet to appoint a PCUP chairperson though he had previously said he was considering educator Efren Peñaflorida, known for his kariton (pushcart) classroom initiative for educating street children. His work earned him the 2009 CNN Hero award.

Halasan won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2014 for going “beyond the call of duty” as a public school teacher in a remote village in Davao City.

Halasan was credited for serving as the voice of the Matigsalug indigenous community to local government offices.

He lobbied strongly for two bridges to be built in the area to help students who have to cross rivers just to reach their school. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.