INSTEAD of promising projects to selected provinces, as she did in her State of the Nation Address, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would do better to just give the money to the local governments and allow them to decide what is best for them, House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero said on Tuesday.
Escudero, who presented several ideas to counter the State of the Nation Address (SONA) Arroyo delivered on Monday, noted that she made no mention of where to source the funds for the projects she promised 79 provinces.
He suggested that the government source the money from the 80-billion peso expected revenue from the expanded value added tax and, instead of imposing the President?s vision on these provinces, give each of them a billion pesos and allow them to decide what projects to pursue.
Escudero also suggested a revision of public schools? curriculum that would reduce the number of regular subjects taught to students - from the current eight to 11, to six - as one way to reduce the classroom shortage.
Essential subjects, he said, would include Languages, including English and Filipino, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or History, Computer and Good Manners and Right Conduct.
Subjects like trigonometry, calculus, geometry, and algebra, should be taught only in college or as high school electives since these are not relevant to the everyday life of Filipinos, he said.
?If by any chance they are able to reduce the curriculum by half, we would effectively double the number of classrooms in a day and overnight, because we can now use the classroom twice over instead of simply being used once, given the overburden curriculum that our children have,? he said.
Escudero also proposed a repeal of several laws such as oil deregulation, the EPIRA (Electric power Industry Reform Act), the Presidential Decree on automatic appropriations for debt servicing, and the EVAT on, at least, power and petroleum products.
He also pressed for the immediate passage of salary adjustments for private and government workers.
On charter change initiatives, Escudero reiterated that while the Constitution needed improvement, this should not be rushed.
He also challenged Arroyo to answer all the allegations against her if, as she said, she was ready to face those seeking to ?pick up an old fight.?