Press Release
March 23, 2013


No less than the largest umbrella organization of private schools in the country has unanimously endorsed the creation of a legacy fund for education proposed by Senator Edgardo J. Angara.

During a testimonial dinner held for Angara recently, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) vowed to rally behind the proposal, as they have done for many of the reforms in education initiated by the senator.

Angara emphasized that creating a legacy fund for education out of the revenues derived from the exploitation of natural resources will be a sustainable way of ensuring funding for the resource-strapped sector as annual Congressional appropriations will never suffice.

Angara said UNESCO itself recommends that low and middle-income countries finance their Education for All goals through revenues from natural resource extraction.

"Using natural resource wealth to fund education will not only solve our current needs, but also save us from resource gaps in the future, thereby guaranteeing that the potential of young, talented Filipinos like Kristel Tejada will not be wasted," he explained.

Angara continued, "Government must rechannel revenues from natural resource development--such as the Malampaya natural gas project for which it has earned half a trillion pesos in the past 11 years and expects to earn another P580 billion over the next 13 years--toward long-term investments that will create wealth for everyone. Education is definitely one such investment."

COCOPEA also honored Angara for remaining a genuine education advocate since he started public service as President of the University of the Philippines in 1981.

Fr. Joel Tabora SJ, President of the Ateneo de Davao University and Chair of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), saluted Angara for being the country's "Education Czar" during the testimonial dinner held on Tuesday at the Manila Polo Club.

His were among the country's most groundbreaking laws on education: the Free High School Act, the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE), the Philippine Teachers' Professionalization Act, the Higher Education Modernization Act, and most recently the Kindergarten Education Act, the Early Years Act, and the Enhanced Basic Education Act ("K to 12").

As Chair of the Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) in the 90s, Angara also authored the laws creating the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA), which gave focus and attracted extra funds to basic and post-secondary education.

"When the President signs [the Enhanced Basic Education Act] into law, Senator Angara shall have played a substantial role in legislating all the major education structures in our country today," said Fr. Tabora.

"Private education has had its own share of fine weather friends from all sectors. It is to our advantage and to his credit that our honoree tonight has stood by private education," said Dr. Carolina Porio, Executive Director of the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE).

She continued, "From private voluntary accreditation, to systemic reform in continuing assistance to private schools through Education Service Contracting, Senator Angara consistently supported private education through policy support and relevant legislation."

Dr. Ester Garcia, President of the University of the East and Trustee of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU), meanwhile recalled how Angara has always been supportive of the development science and mathematics education.

She said that Angara created many professorial chairs for science and mathematics at the UP, supported the creation of a separate College of Science, and promoted the establishment of a UP science complex.

"In effect, all the major initiatives for science and mathematics in UP started and prospered under President Angara," said Garcia.

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