Press Release
April 7, 2013


URDANETA CITY, PANGASINAN -- Re-electionist Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today called for more scholarships for deserving youth.

In remarks at the 91st Commencement Exercises of the Urdaneta City University, Pimentel said that as a "Iskolar ng Bayan" himself, having studied at the Ateneo de Manila University where he completed an undergraduate BS Math course before taking up Law at University of the Philippines, he is "a great believer in scholarships, not only for the brightest students, but scholarships for all deserving youth."

"If a young person seriously wants to learn and be educated and is willing to undergo sacrifices for his or her education, then that young person deserves a scholarship," he pointed out.

The lawmaker underscored the obligation of the State to give young people the opportunities for them to develop their talents and skills so they can find for themselves the role that they want to play in the development of society.

Pimentel revealed that during his less than two years of his term as senator, he had given the bulk of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or what's commonly known as pork barrel to scholarship programs and medical assistance projects.

The senator from Mindanao challenged the graduating class and the other students to be involved in what is happening in their communities and to use the knowledge and skills they had learned from the City University to study the actual problems of the country and to propose concrete solutions to these problems.

This way, he said, they would be doing justice to their being "Iskolar ng Bayan".

Pimentel also asked the students and their parents to support what he calls his "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice" bill, which seeks to redefine the source of the funds from which the National Government gets the just share of the various local government units.

Pimentel proposes to change the source of funds from "national internal revenue collections" or IRA to "share in the national taxes" or SNT. He also wants to change the sharing scheme from 60%-40% in favor of the National Government as currently being practiced to a "hating-kapatid" scheme or 50-50 between the National Government and the local government units.

Thus, he said, Urdaneta City's IRA of P264 million will become an SNT of P336 million, or an increased cash flow of P72 million for the City of Urdaneta which it can use for more scholarships for deserving students, among others.

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