Senator Guingona pushes for passing of bill supporting children aged 0 to 4By Katherine Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Teofisto Guingona III on Wednesday said he will fully support the passing of the Early Years Act (Senate Bill 3206) and will push to double the budget for the early childhood care and development (ECCD) program.
In a statement, Guingona said that when the deliberations for the 2013 National Budget reaches the Senate he will move that the budget for the ECCD be jack up to P1 billion from the P500 million earmarked in the 2012 budget. Guingona said that P500 million is not enough to sustain the needs of the ECCD and that the government should invest on human capital.
“The government should invest in our youth to harness their skills and creativity. Let us renew our national order of priorities and make the youth on top of the administration’s agenda with designed programs so that they may able to reach their full potentials,” Guingona said.
The Early Years Act, principally authored by Senator Edgardo Angara, is a measure that will offer a full range of health, early education and social services programs for children aged zero to four years old.
Guingona furthered that strengthening the ECCD will be fitting with the government’s agenda to initiate reforms in the country.
“It is also one way for the Philippines to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing universal primary education among the Filipino youth,” Guingona added.
Last year, Malacañang vetoed the Early Years Act (SBN 2802) passed by the Congress and instead the ECCD Council was established. An annual budget of P500 million was allocated for the program for five years.