MANILA, Philippines — The government should continue pushing for reforms in education in order to sustain its momentum from last year, a lawmaker said.
Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara felt that while 2012 had been a good year, “we can definitely make 2013 better.”
To do this, Angara said that it was important that improvements to the country’s education system continued as these would help in creating economic opportunities.
“We must stay focused on the primary issues of the country which are education, the economy and job generation,” he said, pointing out that having a strong education system is as important as the government’s campaign against corruption.
“I believe our president has thrived in the fight against corruption. But this must be translated to an effective fight against poverty and for a better standard of living,” said Angara, chairman of the committee on higher and technical education at the House of Representatives.
“Every Filipino citizen deserves quality education. But a key issue here is that a person’s education must be tailored to their needs, abilities and context. The approach must not be one-size-fits-all,” he said.
Last year saw the enactment of the Universal Kindergarten Education Act (Republic Act No. 10157) and Angara is optimistic that next in line would be the Early Years Act (House Bill 6694) and the Special Education Act (HB 6547).
A measure which seeks to institutionalize and strengthen the National Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Program for children from zero (0) to four (4) years old, the Early Years Act is set to be studied by a bicameral conference committee this year.
The Aurora legislator was hopeful that 2013 would be the year of the passage and enactment of the SPED Act, the Bill of Rights for New Graduates (HB 5915), and HB 395 which aims to raise public school teachers’ salaries from salary grade (SG) 10 to SG 19.
“We’ve already enshrined education as a right in our Constitution. Now it’s up to government to make sure that nobody gets left behind,” he said.