Press Release
September 19, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the importance of investing in education reform during today's Senate hearing on the proposed P191 billion budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) for 2012.

"The Philippines has had a mediocre ranking in global competitiveness leagues--and one of the main factors contributing to this is the deteriorating quality of education. This poor performance means that it is time to review and revamp our educational system," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, at the start of the first of a series of hearings on the DepEd budget today.

Angara explained that while education underlies individual welfare and national development, the country's public expenditure on education amounts to only 2.6 percent of GDP and 15.2 percent of total government expenditure.

"These numbers are far below those of our neighbors in Southeast Asia. In fact, we only ranked 75th out of 142 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012. The quality of our math and science education--the drivers of innovation and higher productivity--is so poor at 115th place," he lamented.

Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, stressed that education reform will yield multiple benefits but need to be made immediately.

"It would take around 20 years before we see the effects of true educational reform in the Philippines--we have a 16-year educational cycle, plus an additional four years to see how these students perform in the real world. We cannot afford to delay making a comprehensive review and overhaul of our education sector," he said.

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