Press Release
August 28, 2009

Gordon's HEAP and 3-2-1 bills to help ensure quality population

Stressing that the government should work on having a quality population, Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today said that two of his proposed legislations are aimed at giving more opportunities for the people and ensuring a populace that is educated, skilled and responsible.

During the recent national conference-workshop for the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Gordon said there are several ways to ensure a quality population, aside from the reproductive health bill.

"I stand four square behind Cong. (Edcel) Lagman on his reproductive health bill. But it behooves all of us here to realize that it is not sufficient. We have to look not only at responsible parenthood, but also to support initiatives that would give our people better choices in life," he said.

"In this country, we are great in arousing our people but we are not great at asserting things that are good for our people. We must train and educate our people. I would like to see measures that would allow our people to develop themselves so that we can come out and compete with the rest of the best in the world," he added.

Gordon has already authored measures that would help the country achieve a quality population, specifically through quality education that is accessible to everyone and the decongestion of Metro Manila by providing livelihood opportunities in other areas of the country.

The senator filed Senate Bill 2402, an Act creating the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP) Corporation, which aims to improve the country's public education system.

"I have always defined poverty as an absence of choice. All around us we see people without any choice, and that is mainly because we have not even improved our education system. Proper quality education opens up a wealth of choices to anyone who can get it," he said.

Gordon also authored Senate Bill 143, the Luzon Global Corridor Act, which aims to strengthen and expand the powers of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) to allow them to develop other special economic zones in Luzon to optimize the utilization of the three airports in Subic, Clark and Manila; two seaports in Subic and Manila and one connecting highway and railway in Luzon. "I also advocate that we decongest Manila. The properties on both sides of the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) are ideal for development, such as for the creation of economic and industrial zones; they could even be prospective sites for universities. It would also generate employment for the people in these provinces so they would not have to seek employment in Manila," he said.

"This is part of the population crunch. If our population keeps on growing without us doing the necessary productivity measures and infrastructures in our country, we become a nation that has no direction. We have to provide opportunities for livelihood and employment so that people won't have to go to foreign shores to find their future," he added.

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