Press Release
June 20, 2012


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has vowed full support for the passage of the Early Years Act (Senate Bill No. 3206), principally authored by Sen. Edgardo Angara, citing that government should put its resources to the early childhood care and development (ECCD) because it is where the human capital will be built on.

A good governance advocate, Sen. Guingona emphasized the need for more appropriation to the program than the current P500 million as the earmarked 2012 budget is not enough to provide for the needs of the ECCD.

"The government should invest in our youth to harness their skills and creativity. Let us renew our national order of priorities and make the youth on top of the administration's agenda with designed programs so that they may able to reach their full potentials," he added.

Sen. Guingona said that when the deliberations of the 2013 National Budget reach the Senate, he will move to augment its budget to P1 billion in order for the beneficiaries to fully avail of the benefits of the program.

Sen. Guingona has earlier requested Sen. Angara to be the co-author of the measure that will strengthen the foundations of early learning system in the country.

He added that since the government is now pushing for vital reforms in the country, it is only fitting to strengthen the ECCD as learning pathways are formed in the early years of a child.

"It is also one way for the Philippines to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing universal primary education among the Filipino youth," Sen. Guingona said.

ECCD refers to the full range of health, nutrition, early education and social services programs provided to young children from zero to four years to maximize their potential for growth and development.

Last year, Congress passed the Early Years Act (SBN 2802) but Malacanang vetoed the bill. Instead, the ECCD Council was created. A total of P500 million was allocated for the program annually for five years, although the senators feel that the amount is not enough to fund the needs of the target recipients.

SBN 3206 was filed by Sen. Angara and now co-authored by a number of senators to solidify the foundations of learning and achieve learning outcomes and child development milestones.

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