Press Release
September 13, 2021


PH 1 of 2 countries in the world that have not reopened schools

On this first day of classes for many, I stand with these youth and student groups in calling for the declaration of an education crisis and the implementation of an emergency plan that will address the unjust health risks and the financial burdens of an ineffective and inaccessible distance learning education in the pandemic. Labanan na lang ba ng internet connection ang education ng mga anak natin? We deserve better than that.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, I filed Proposed Resolution No. 901 in support of these calls because of how distance learning has put a strain on the wellbeing of children and their families for almost 2 years.

As early as October 2020, deaths related to distance learning were reported, kagaya ni Ricky Benig na nagpakamatay dahil ang taas ng financial demands ng online learning, kay Kristelyn Villance na namatay sa isang aksidente habang sinusubmit ang kanyang requirements, kay Danz Vistal, Jr. who committed suicide after struggling in answering his learning modules, among many others.

These issues have created incredible stress amidst an already overwhelming pandemic for students and their families na hirap na hirap dahil nawalan ng trabaho, o nagkaroon ng sakit, o namatayan, pushing some of them to take their own lives.

Implementing an emergency plan ASAP that covers the safe reopening of schools in selected areas, the effective utilization of the education budget and the provision of mental health services for students and other members of the education sector is clearly a matter of life and death.

Pakinggan natin ang kabataan, dahil sino pa ba ang nakakaalam kung gaano kahirap at kung gaano nasasayang ang edukasyon nila sa distance learning, kundi ang mga estudyante natin mismo? By the Constitution, education holds the biggest chunk of our government's national budget. Ibig sabihin sa Konstitusyon mismo natin, we hold ourselves responsible to give our children the education they need and deserve no matter the circumstances.

We are facing a massive catastrophe within this pandemic, which if we allow it to, will have long term consequences that will remain, making the gap wider and wider with each generation. Wag nating pabayaan ang kinabukasan ng mga anak natin ngayon at sa mga susunod na henerasyon. No one gets left behind.

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