Press Release
July 18, 2016


Staying true to his promise to push for measures that will make quality education more accessible, Senator Sonny Angara has filed a bill that aims to ensure that every Filipino family, especially those living in poverty, has at least one college graduate.

Angara's Senate Bill No. 133 or the "One Family, One Graduate Act" entitles poor but deserving students, giving priority to beneficiaries of the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), to a free college education until they graduate.

"Sa kabila ng mandato ng gobyerno na gawing bukas sa lahat ang edukasyon sa ating bansa, ang realidad ay marami pa ring naghihikahos na pamilyang Pilipino ang walang kakayahang ipasok ang kanilang mga anak sa eskwelahan upang makapagtapos hanggang kolehiyo. Ang hamon ngayon ay masigurong ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino ay mabigyan ng ganitong oportunidad," the senator said.

He lamented recent studies which showed that out of 100 students that start elementary education, only around less than 20 are able to graduate from college, and the usual reasons for not being able to finish their education were poverty and lack of opportunities.

SB 133 institutionalizes the Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), which awards student-grantees under 4Ps a maximum of P60,000 per academic year to cover the cost for tuition and other school fees to complete the student-grantee's degree program.

ESGP-PA, now being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Commission on Higher Education, has produced 66 graduates from the National Capital Region this year.

The lawmaker, who is a known advocate of educational reform, added that the measure aims to contribute to the government's thrust to effectively address poverty by increasing the number of college graduates among poor households and by ensuring that these graduates are employed in high-value occupations.

Like his father, former UP and Senate President Edgardo Angara, who authored the Free High School Act, the younger Angara, who, for his part, authored the Free Kindergarten law, values education as a tool to fight poverty and ensure social mobility.

"In a society with persistent poverty, education can be the great equalizer. I strongly believe in the potential of every Filipino to succeed if they are given the right opportunities in life.

"Kaya't gawin nating posible na maging ang pinakamahihirap ay mabigyan ng patas na oportunidad sa edukasyon. Ito ang pinakamalaking hakbang tungo sa katuparan ng kanilang mga pangarap at pag-asang makaahon mula sa kahirapan," he said.

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