ACT to admin: Prioritize education over Cha-cha, globe-trotting, NTF-Elcac
MANILA, Philippines — The administration should focus on education, not Charter change, foreign trips, confidential and intelligence funds, or the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), according to House Deputy Minority Rep. France Castro on Friday.
Castro, who represents the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list, reiterated that the Philippines’ educational budget should be equivalent to at least 6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to address the classroom backlogs.
“Edukasyon dapat ang pangunahing pinaglalaanan ng pondo ng bayan, hindi charter change, intelligence at confidential funds, NTF-Elcac o mga foreign trips,” Castro said.
(The funds of the country should go to education, not Charter change, intelligence and confidential funds, NTF-Elcac, or foreign trips.)
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According to Castro, the government has only allotted the equivalent of 3 percent of the country’s GDP for education in the 2023 national budget.
Budget shortages have caused the Department of Education, headed by Vice President Sara Duterte, to ask for donations due to classroom backlogs, said the legislator.
“While the initiative of donors, both private and foreign, are welcome, the Marcos-Duterte administration must not rely on these and make it their strategy to beg for donations for our children because it is one of the government’s primary duties to fund the education of Filipino children,” said Castro.
Castro said that House Bill (HB) 1783, or the Education as Priority in the National Appropriations Act, filed by the Makabayan bloc, would address the need to put education at the forefront of the national budget.
“I hope that the Marcos-Duterte administration would heed our call in behalf of the education sector to increase the budget for education to 6 percent of the GDP and support HB 1783, to address the classroom backlogs and substantially increase the salaries of our teachers. It is only by doing this that can we effectively solve the learning crisis,” said Castro.
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