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Luistro, Armin A


December 24, 1961
Brother Armin A. Luistro is the Secretary of the Department of Education. He completed his elementary and secondary education at De La Salle, Lipa City, and his college degree at De La Salle University, Manila with Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Letters in 1981.

He earned his Master’s Degree in Religious Education and Values Education at De La Salle University in 2003 and Doctor of Educational Management at the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City in 2005.

In 2004, La Salle University in Philadelphia conferred on him an honorary doctorate in humane letters.

He began his career at De La Salle Lipa as a religion teacher, classroom adviser and campus minister in 1983. From 1986 to 1988, he moved as a religion teacher at La Salle Greenhills and sub-director at La Salle House of Studies. He served his way up as district vocation director at La Salle Provincialate, Mandaluyong City in 1988 to 1989 then rose as its director the following year.

From 1990 to 1991, Brother Armin became director of the Lasallian Residency and Vocation Center at La Salle Provincialate, Mandaluyong City. Then, from 1991 to 1992, he was assigned as director of the Postulancy Community at the Lasallian Center, Singalong, Manila.

Having racked up an impressive record, Brother Armin was recalled in 1992 to the La Salle House of Studies at La Salle Provincialate, Mandaluyong City to become its director for one year. Then, in 1993 to 1997, he was re-assigned as director of the La Salle Novitiate in Lipa City.

In April 1997 to March 2004, Brother Armin was titular visitor at the sub-district of Myanmar. Later, he embarked on another career climb, becoming president o fthe De La Salle University System (2004 to 2006) and concurrently president of De La Salle Professional Schools (2005 to 2007), the De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School (2005-2008) and De La Salle Philippines, INc. (2005 to 2009), a network of educational institutions in the country operated by Lasallian Brothers. Eventually, he became president of De La Salle University from 2006 to 2010.

Brother Armin has joined local and international fora, seminars and conferences as speaker, lecturer, facilitator, panelist and participant.

He has also served as trustee or chairperson in various religious and local institutions, as well as La Sallian institutions here and abroad.

An outstanding leader, he received the Outstanding Manilan for Advocacy on Social Consciousness award in 2010.

Secretary Luistro professed his final vow as a De La Salle Christian Brother in the Philippines at the National Shrine of the Divine Child at La Salle Provincialate, Mandaluyong City on May 1, 1988.

Luistro entered the De La Salle Scholasticate (the center for academic training of De La Salle Brothers)[1] in Manila on April 1979,[2]and received the religious habit on October 1981 at the La Salle Novitiate in Lipa. He professed his first religious vows on October 1982, and his final vows on May 1988.[3] In the Manila Bulletin interview, he said that teaching was the reason why he entered the congregation.[9]

He started teaching as a religion teacher at De La Salle Lipa in 1983. He moved to La Salle Greenhills in 1986. He was made provincial of the De La Salle Brothers Philippine District on April 1997, a post he held until 2003.[3][4][5][6]

On August 26, 2000, Luistro co-founded the De La Salle Catholic University of Manado, currently known as De La Salle University, in Indonesia with Josef Suwatan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Manado.[4][7] DLSU in Manila supervised initial operations before it was transferred to the Philippine District.[21]

On April 2004,[3] he succeeded Andrew Gonzalez as the president of De La Salle University System, consequently making him the president of eight De La Salle institutions. In his inaugural speech, he acknowledged the “multiversity” concept of Gonzalez who established the system. In which structure, DLSU served as the flagship while other De La Salle institutions specialized in fields like agriculture, alternative education and medicine.[8]

He did, however, find the system’s structure unfeasible. He worked into establishing De La Salle Philippines which replaced the system. Under the reorganization, other De La Salle institutions were included in the network—a total of 17. Each De La Salle institution was autonomous and had its own president.[9] The DLSP National Mission Council appointed him DLSP President and Chief Executive Officer on November 29, 2005.[10]

Luistro called for the resignation of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the height of the Hello Garci scandal in 2005.[11] In which time, he became close to the Aquino family, a prominent political family in the Philippines. He also delivered a homily (named Cory, the Heart of a Saint) during the wake of former President Corazon Aquino, and said “our closeness with her was really borne out of that period [Hello Garci scandal], none of her children went to La Salle.”[9][13]

Current President Benigno Aquino III, Corazon’s son, appointed him as the secretary of the Department of Education.[11] He was inaugurated on June 30, 2010,[12] becoming the second De La Salle brother to hold the post—the other was Gonzalez who was in office from 1998 to 2001.[6][13]

Aquino gave Luistro two years to address problems, including insufficient books, classrooms and teachers. Luistro estimates a lack of 130,000 teachers, 72,000 classrooms, 7 million desks, 141,000 comfort rooms and 96 million books.[22]

As of December 2010, Luistro has the least net worth among Aquino’s cabinet. He had ₱89,000 (US$2,060).[14] In contrast, the richest—Cesar Purisima who is Secretary of Finance—had ₱252 million (US$5.84 million).[14] He declared an annual gross salary of ₱989,496 (US$22,900).[14][15]