Though DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC wasn't able to attend the meeting, they shared Luistro's Christmas message to everyone:
"A Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!
This is a challenging greeting to give, especially with the understanding that our brethren from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are struggling to recover and rebuild their lives from the devastating blows brought about by floods, insurgency, earthquakes and a super typhoon. There have been great losses to life and property, and we, as a Department, have been directly affected. A number of our students, staff, teachers and administrators, together with their families, comprise some of the victims and survivors. Even our school facilities were not spared.
It is easy to succumb to hopelessness and despair during these times. Yet it is precisely for these conditions that the message of Christmas becomes more relevant to us: the message of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE.
We hope in the goodness and generosity of our benefactors who have come quickly to our aid. Hope that in our better understanding of these events, we are able to establish better systems and processes to prevent the same mistakes from repeating themselves. We hope that as a new year approaches, new life should sprout from the rubble, bathed in the warmth of a rising sun, the light of God’s mercy and compassion for our troubled people.
With this renewed hope, I wish you peace. Peace in the faith that all will be well. Peace in our hearts, in our homes, our communities and the whole country.
I wish you joy. A joy that is deep and full, grounded in the peace you find within and around you.
And with this joy, I wish you love. Not that you only receive love, but that you give love. And that you give it sincerely and generously. Fueled by the same hope, peace and joy, may we all express this love through small little acts of kindness that seek for nothing in return.
Yes, we are confronted today by the pain and difficulties of tragedy, but we have the choice to transform the darkness into light, despair into hope, confusion into peace, sadness into joy, indifference into love. As one family, we reach out to one another, leaving no one behind. And there’s no better time to do so but this season of Christmas.
Again, may you all have a Christmas filled with hope, peace, joy and love. God bless us all."