Press Release
March 8, 2013


Senator Chiz Escudero said improving the quality of the education system in the country through the building of more school buildings and increasing the pay and allowances of teachers will be a priority if he is elected to a new Senate term.

The philosophy behind giving priority to education is simple: It is an investment on the future of the country, he said.

"Education is the great equalizer in society. It is the best way to guarantee that all Filipinos, regardless of station in life, gets a equal opportunity to a better life," Escudero explained.

"Money should be invested in education and while in my current term funds were invested in the construction, repair and rehabilitation of public markets, my next term, if given the chance, would be devoted to providing funds for the construction, repair and rehabilitation of public school buildings," he added.

The senator disclosed that his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) will also go to scholarships to give substance to the government's aim of making education up to the college level a right and not a privilege for Filipinos.

Included in Escudero's program for another Senate stint would be to work for the salaries of teachers to be periodically raised in parallel to increase in the prices of basic commodities and services.

Another priority would be providing teachers with hazard or difficulty differential. "If teachers are assigned to far-flung areas where there are no transportation, water supply or it is in a dangerous part of the country, the government should automatically provide them a pay increase," Escudero added.

He expressed dismay over the need for teachers for shell out their own money to buy writing chalks and to undergo training to improve their skills.

Escudero said government should increase the chalk allowance to P2,000, if not in one time, then in phases.

He said every P500 increase in the allowance would cost the government P257 million a year, "or equivalent only to what it earns in six days from the windfall in VAT collections caused by higher oil prices."

"We should take care of our teachers," Escudero said. "How can teachers give their best if they themselves are not in their best financial state?"

He said among the programs he would espouse is the sending of teachers abroad for training provided that they would return to practice in the country what they learned abroad. "We can encourage (trainings abroad) but the important thing is that, after gaining experience abroad, teachers would return to the country," he said.

He said giving focus on education in a new Senate term will back the government's implementation of the K12 program that improves the school curriculum to adapt with international norms.

News Latest News Feed