Press Release
April 25, 2010



Liberal Party vice-presidential candidate and race frontrunner Senator Mar Roxas today said a primary goal of the Aquino-Roxas administration is to improve education in the Philippines by meeting the global norm of investing 5-6% of gross domestic product (GDP) or more than P400 billion instead of only P180 billion as done by the Arroyo Administration this year.

Roxas, chair of the Senate education committee, said reforming the education system will be the central strategy of LP standard-bearer Senator Noynoy Aquino as President for reducing poverty and building the competitiveness of the Filipino youth.

"Kung tapat ang pamumuno, una lagi ang edukasyon. Ang gobyernong Aquino-Roxas, uunahin ang pagpupundar sa kinabukasan ng kabataang Pilipino (A clean and honest government prioritizes education. The Aquino-Roxas government will focus on investing in the future of the Filipino youth)," he said.

"Ang programa natin para sa edukasyon, ganoon din para sa buong pamahalaan. Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (Our program for education is the same for the rest of government. Zero corruption means zero poverty)," he stressed.

The Chairman of the Senate Education Committee lamented that in the past years, the government has invested less than half of the global norm in education. For instance, if GDP in 2008 amounted to P7.4 trillion, and 5 to 6% of that would be P371 to P445 billion, the government in the same year spent P169 billion, a mere 2% of GDP.*

As a result of this, he said the country has not progressed or is even regressing in its Millennium Development Goal to achieve universal primary education, with the United Nations saying that it now has a low probability of achieving this goal by 2015.

"The government miserably failed in giving our youth a better shot in life. Dahil kulang na kulang ang tulong na ibinibigay ng gobyerno sa mga pampublikong paraan, kung hindi man ito nakukurakot (Because government support to public schools is lacking, if this funding is not lost to corruption in the first place)," he said.

"Sinasabing noong 2009 lamang, mahigit P200 bilyon ang nawala dahil sa corruption. Ayusin natin ang pangongolekta ng buwis at siguruhing tama ang paggastos nito, meron tayong sapat na pondo para sa edukasyon (It is said that more than we lost P200 billion to corruption in 2009 alone. Let's improve tax collection and ensure its proper spending, and we can have enough funds for education," he added.

Roxas said that much more important than putting in ample resources is ensuring that proper and comprehensive education reform policies are in place and that leaders employ the right approach to implementing reform. He stressed that of all the presidential candidates, only Aquino has the most specific and reform-oriented education platform.

*Sum of 2008 budgets for Department of Education and its School building Project, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Science High School, Science Education Institute, State Colleges and Universities, and regional education funds of the ARMM.

News Latest News Feed