Press Release
November 22, 2021

Bong Go aims to achieve 'one college graduate per family' as he vows to continue the Duterte Legacy of providing a better and more secure future for the next generation

As he hopes for every Filipino family to have at least one member to finish a college education, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go commits to continue what President Rodrigo Duterte has started to ensure that more disadvantaged students will have better access to quality education.

"Ang edukasyon ang tanging puhunan natin sa mundong ito. Kaya sisiguraduhin nating makakapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang ating mga anak upang magkaroon ng mas maginhawang kinabukasan," Go said.

During the 47th Philippine Business Conference & Expo Presidentiables' Forum on Thursday, November 18, the presidential aspirant vowed to develop more programs that would provide struggling families with better access to quality education nationwide.

"Sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte, sinikap nating mabigyan ng libreng edukasyon ang lahat. Pero hindi tayo titigil lang dito, sisiguraduhin rin nating makaka-graduate ang mga ito," he explained.

"Bukod sa matrikula, may mga ibang gastusin rin ang pinoproblema ng mga magulang. Dapat mabigyan ito ng sapat na suporta lalo na't nasa krisis ang bansa at maraming hirap sa blended learning. Huwag nating hayaang hindi makapagtapos ang mga bata dahil sa hirap sa buhay," he added.

Go likewise reaffirmed that he will continue supporting existing measures like Republic Act No. 10931, also known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, as part of his advocacy to ensure that more educational programs are well-funded even in times of crisis.

"Isa ito sa mga legacies ng Duterte Administration na kailangan nating ipagpatuloy. An estimated 1.6 million poor Filipino students are now in school without paying for their tuition and miscellaneous fees because of the government's Free Higher Education program," Go cited in his speech.

Since its enactment, the Duterte Administration has assisted more than a million underprivileged students in 112 state universities and colleges nationwide. In addition, more than 500,000 poor students have been enrolled in private institutions and granted necessary educational assistance through the Tertiary Education Subsidy.

"Ang Free Higher Education ng Duterte Administration ay tunay na libre. Walang hinihingi na grade requirement, walang number of units na kailangan ipasa kada semester. Ang hinihingi lang po namin ay seryosohin ninyo ang inyong pag-aaral para agad kayo makatapos at matulungan ang inyong pamilya at bayan," explained Go.

As schools are slowly reopening face-to-face classes following President Duterte's approval, Go still urged concerned authorities to ensure necessary health protocols are in place to protect the lives of students and educators.

"Kaya hinihikayat ko ang mga estudyante na patuloy na mag-aral kahit na may krisis tayong hinaharap, sa paraang ligtas at hindi mailalagay sa peligro ang buhay nila at ng mga pamilya nila," he said.

"Mahalaga ang edukasyon pero mas mahalaga ang buhay ng mga Pilipino. Patuloy po nating binabalanse ang lahat upang maiahon ang ating mga kababayan mula sa hirap na dulot ng pandemya," Go added.

The senator also vowed to support sectors who are underserved, such as indigenous students, students from less privileged backgrounds, and students with physical and learning disabilities. In this regard, Go co-authored Republic Act No. 11510 which institutionalizes the Alternative Learning System (ALS) and improves the delivery of basic education to the underserved and disadvantaged. The ALS provides students with specialized programs and alternative education approaches and strategies which they otherwise would not be able to receive within the formal learning system.

"Education is a constitutionally enshrined right which the State must protect and promote. Thus, ensuring education for all should be a top priority. For this to be achieved, it is vital that opportunities to learn and receive quality education are accessible to all those who so desire," said Go.

As part of his commitment to ensure that the educational sector is well supported, Go earlier filed Senate Bill No. 396 of which aims to expand the purposes and application of the Special Education Fund (SEF).

Under the proposed measure, the allocated funds shall be used for the operation and maintenance of, among others, public schools; payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of teaching and non-teaching personnel; competency trainings for teaching personnel; operation of ALS, including payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of ALS facilitators; educational research; and procurement teaching aids and other instructional materials.

Go was also instrumental as an author and co-sponsor in the enactment of Republic Act No. 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5, which gives civilian government employees, including public school teachers, salary increases broken down in tranches.

"Patuloy tayong maghahanap ng paraan na mabigyan ng suporta ang ating educational sector upang hindi matigil ang pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataang Pilipino. Kung gusto nating umunlad, dapat bigyan natin ng malaking importansya ang kapakanan ng mga guro para maisaayos ang pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataan, lalo na sa literacy at numeracy," said Go.

Even before he was elected as senator, Go has been providing low-income communities with relief which includes computer tablets which students may use to conveniently access educational materials and participate better in their classes under the blended learning set-up.

"Ang kabataan po ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan. Sila ang ating pag-asa upang tuluyang umunlad ang ating bansa. Bigyan po natin ng kahalagahan ang edukasyon na tanging puhunan nila sa kanilang paglaki," Go emphasized.

Meanwhile, Go earlier highlighted the positive change in peace and order felt in communities. He noted the progress made by the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption which he vowed to continue and expand further in order to provide a better and more secure future for the next generation.

"Tanungin natin ang mga kababayan natin kung nakakalakad ba sila ng ligtas sa gabi. Tanungin natin ang mga trabahante, lalo na ang mga OFWs, kung panatag sila na ligtas ang kanilang mga anak habang sila ay nagtatrabaho sa malalayong lugar. Tanungin natin ang mga magulang kung naging mas maayos ba ang kanilang pamilyang dating winasak ng iligal na droga," he said.

"Ipagpapatuloy natin ang laban na ito upang mabigyan ng mas ligtas, maginhawa, at komportableng buhay ang ating mga anak," Go assured.

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