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MANILA, Philippines – Former Department of Education (DepEd) undersecretary Juan Miguel “Mike” Luz died on Thursday, September 21, at the age 65, his daughter confirmed.
“Papa was a teacher by trade, an artist at heart, and an adventurer in his soul. In his own quiet way, he did his best for his country but he was also just a guy who liked podcasts, travel, and the occasional donut,” Bunny Luz said in a Facebook post.
She said her father was also a friend and mentor, who “was supportive of everything I did.” Luz, she said, “tried his best to be a good person in every way.”
Tributes were posted on social media by former students, mentees, and colleagues, who used the words educator, innovator, disruptor, artist, mentor, boss, friend, and family to describe Mike Luz.
Luz served as DepEd undersecretary for finance for three and a half years during the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He resigned over Malacañang’s release of funds to DepEd for the scholarships under the name of Zambales congressman Antonio Diaz at the height of congressional deliberations on the impeachment complaints against Arroyo.
“My greatest regret now is that the education reforms we have worked hard to put in place may not survive given this Administration’s preoccupation with political expediency rather than genuine reform; with deal-making rather than development; as well as the lack of appreciation, much less commitment, to the rule of law and good governance,” Luz said in his resignation letter addressed to then-president Arroyo.
Luz later served as associate dean at the Asian Institute of Management, among other education-related roles.
Until this year, Luz wrote Thought Leaders articles for Rappler on education, public health, and governance, among them:
- [OPINION] 5 thoughts about the Philippine healthcare system
- [OPINION] Fear for the country’s future
- [ANALYSIS] Too many children not enrolled this school year is a major concern
- 3 case studies: How ready are Philippine schools for distance learning?
- [ANALYSIS] School opening 2020: Immediate concerns, longer-term structural reforms
- [ANALYSIS] Don’t confuse schooling with learning
- Time to sweat the small stuff
- The importance of history
The wake will be at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City from September 25 to 26, 2023 starting 10 am. Memorial masses will be conducted at AIM Chapel at 6:30 pm each day. – Rappler.com