Press Release
September 30, 2008

Text for change; it is our investment for the future - Gordon

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today called on the more than 60-million mobile phone subscribers to register their voices and support to his text income measure aimed at pulling resources to fund the country's education and health requirements.

Gordon made the call as he sought to solidify a cross-sector consensus among the public in contributing - individually and collectively - in finding ways by which to address the ballooning backlogs in the health and education of the public school pupils nationwide.

"We just cannot sit around and wait wonderful things fall on our laps. We have to make them happen for our country, for us and our children. The government alone cannot do it for us, but instead we have to do it ourselves," he said.

"The power to make changes therefore is well within our hands. Let us therefore text for change because for every text we send, we are contributing concretely in resolving the decades-old problems of education and health care services in our country," he added.

Gordon's measure, logged as Senate Bill (SB) 2402, has gained legislative and executive support, notably by House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Finance Secretary Margarito Teves. It has also elicited wide support among several non-governmental organizations.

Under SB 2402, also known as the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), the funds needed for the country's education and health care requirements would be taken from the estimated two billion local text messages sent daily.

The special HEAP funds to be managed by a HEAP Corporation shall however be sourced from the annual net revenues of the telecommunication companies, thereby the brunt shall not be passed on to ordinary consumers.

Gordon said he is gladdened that more and more people are now seeing the merits of his measure as a way of finding concrete solutions aimed at improving the pitiful state of the country's educational and health care system that has slowed down the nation's progress.

"The time has come that as we demand for our democratic rights to access to quality of education and health care for our country, it is also our responsibility to make it happen. We have to seize the moment or be forever dwarfed as a nation and as a people," he said.

According to Gordon, the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises which he chairs will soon conduct another public hearing so that the "text-for-change" measure he espouses would finally and expeditiously be passed into law.

"I am therefore appealing to our people, particularly the more than 60 million mobile phone subscribers, to support the measure so that once and for all we can contribute to zeroing the backlogs in our education and health care services," he said.

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