Press Release
July 11, 2013


Senator Chiz Escudero said Muslim public schools or madrasahs in the country should have better structures that conform to the basic infrastructural standards.

Escudero, who spoke at the First Assembly of Imam Leaders of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro City, said he will allocate in his Priority Development Assistance Fund for the construction and repair of madrasahs.

"We also want to legislate a law that will push for the construction and repair of madrasah or schools wherein the funds will be given to the local government units."

Escudero said in his various visits to madrasahs, he has yet to see a decent structure of a classroom as most of these were just built with hollow blocks as walls and dirt floor. "It should not be the case that only schools and school buildings owned by the government and the department of Education get the funds and repairs. How can we teach and learn, provide a good education, when our madrasahs do not have an environment conducive for learning?" Escudero stressed.

While the senator's funds in his first term were invested in the construction, repair and rehabilitation of public markets and in medical funding in all regional and specialty hospitals in the country, his second senate term will prioritize improving the quality of the education system in the country.

"Money should be invested in education through the construction, repair and rehabilitation of more school buildings and increasing the pay and allowances of our teachers."

He also said there should be a structured support for the Muslim scholars and elderly Imams for a Hajj, a pilgrimage or religious duty of Muslims to do at least once in his or her lifetime.

"We want to try in the following year to create a system where we can send and sponsor to a Hajj some of our Filipino brothers, especially the Imams who teach, read, and impart words from the Quran. We know that a considerable amount of money is needed for this. Though there is a separation of government and religion, we want to help Imams who do not have enough means to finance this to benefit from the experience and learning that they will impart in madrasahs."

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

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