Press Release
November 1, 2008

Buenavista officials urge telcos to support Gordon's 'text-for-change' bill

The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Buenavista, Bohol has endorsed Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon's "text-for-change" bill even as they urged telecommunications companies (telcos) to support the measure.

Gordon thanked the local officials of Buenavista for joining him in his mission to improve the quality of education and health care system in the country by providing the needed facilities and manpower it currently lacks.

"I am pleased that the Sangguniang Bayan of Buenavista has joined me in calling on our friends from the telecommunication giants to support this noble undertaking of providing our children with better education, modern and adequate school facilities, and skilled teachers and health personnel," he said.

The town's officials conveyed their support to Senate Bill 2402, the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), through a resolution they unanimously approved.

Resolution 92, sponsored by SB Member Apolonio Aparece and approved last Oct. 13, urged cellular mobile telephone service providers to "support the Gordon Bill instead of opposing it."

The local officials stressed that the HEAP bill would greatly fast track the fulfillment of education and health infrastructure needs of the country.

"Funding sources of the proposed bill will come from all sectors of society patronizing text messaging, and their contribution is for the noble purpose of improving health and education infrastructure needs of the country," the resolution read.

Under the HEAP bill, telcos are required to remit part of their multi-billion net income from local text messaging to augment government resources to fund the country's education and health care requirements.

The country currently suffers from an existing backlog of 9,754 classrooms at the cost of P7.31 billion; 4,121,009 school seats at P4.12 billion; 63,178,377 textbooks at P4.21 billion; 39,762 teachers at P5.28 billion and an additional P79 million for their training; and 8,499 principals at P1.66 billion.

"We really need more funds to address the lingering backlogs in the public school system, and we can do that through the HEAP bill. The success of this proposal will come from the concerted efforts of the national and local governments, the telcos, and the millions of mobile phone subscribers who will support to this undertaking," Gordon said.

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