Press Release
February 19, 2007


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan today expressed the need to revive the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education or GASTPE, which gives opportunities to poor students who cannot afford to study in private schools by providing financial assistance through tuition fee supplements, before the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) at the Manila Hotel.

"I have sought to amend the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education also known as the GASTPE and called for the increase in the amount of financial assistance to be given to the students because the amount currently being received by them is no longer realistic to the present times," Kiko said.

"The fact is government alone does not have the resources to provide each and every Filipino quality education, especially with our current economic condition. For this reason, we need to maximize the role of the private sector in education. We need to set an environment that will encourage private schools to flourish and institutionalize the recognition of private schools based on merit such as citing schools as centers of excellence, ranking schools based on performance, among others. Grants, tax incentives and other benefits for well-performing private schools must likewise be put into place," Kiko added.

"What is crucial is to institute safeguards that will monitor private institutions so that while they remain flexible and free to cater to the market, they still follow basic guidelines which ensure that quality is never compromised. These safeguards must be multi-sectoral so that all stakeholders of education are consulted and heard. Only synergy between government and the private sector can address the education problem squarely," Kiko ended.

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