Duterte wants CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida to head urban poor commission
- Efren Peñaflorida was recognized by CNN in 2009 for his pushcart alternative classroom initiative
- President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier announced he will fire all commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
- On December 16, Bong Go confirmed that Duterte has asked Peñaflorida to lead the disgraced agency
President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen teacher and development worker Efren Peñaflorida to head the commission for the urban poor.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go confirmed the news to CNN Philippines.
According to Go, Peñaflorida was surprised by the offer and added that the civic leader is still thinking about it.
Peñaflorida rose to fame after being awarded by CNN as its 2009 Hero of the Year. He was recognized for his work in Kariton Klassrum, an alternative classroom setup that utilizes pushcarts to make learning accessible to street children.
Since winning the award, Peñaflorida's program has grown. It has been replicated in 83 projects in the Philippines. It is now also being implemented in Indonesia and Kenya.
Using the prize money from CNN, Peñaflorida was able to open up a solar-powered high school in 2012. They offer free education for out of school youth.
In this video by CNN, Efren narrates how Kariton Klasrum has grown since 2009.
The Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor has recently received the ire of the president because of accusations of failing to perform their mandate. The commissioners were accused of using the agencies funds for international junkets.
But former Kabataan Party-list Representative Terry Ridon, who heads the commission, said the purpose of their travels abroad was to give voice to the Filipino urban poor in international conferences.
The commission is tasked to create policies and implement programs for the needs of the urban poor.