Press Release
March 30, 2011


The only way to get closer to the second Millennium Development Goal of universal education is through increased state funding, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara during last week's interview with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Researchers from the USAID consulted Angara, current chair of the Senate committee on Education, Arts and Culture, regarding the state of education in the Philippines in accordance with the bilateral assistance agreement between the two countries. Information gathered will be used to guide the next USAID-Philippines education strategy.

Angara cited the lack of sufficient state subsidy as one of the main reasons behind the slow progress of the Philippine's education sector.

"Underinvestment in education will prevent Filipinos from being globally competitive. Even though the numbers reflect a steady increase in the government's allocation to the DepEd, per-student spending is actually of less real-world value now than in previous decades," he lamented.

The former UP president explained that this lack of a workable budget undermines the ability of a university to fulfill its functions as a research and development facility.

"Universities--especially SUCs (state universities and colleges) are primarily research-oriented. This field of study requires steady funding in order to have effective applications in everyday life," he said.

According to Angara, the best-case scenario was to have the majority of students enrolled in good public schools.

"Now, our goal is to have 70% of students attending quality, state-funded schools. Our current SUC system is quite good--there are public schools all over the Philippines but they still need to be regulated to ensure the quality of education.

"There is an uncontested correlation between educational development and national progress. Now that we know the weaknesses of our current educational system, we hold the key to the advancement of the Philippines," he concluded.

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