Archive for the ‘PDI Talk Of The Town’ Category

read the platforms of government of all presidentiables here

May 2, 2010 3 comments

presidentiables stand on improving philippine education

April 18, 2010 3 comments

THE COUNTRY’S spending for education as a percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) is shrinking compared with those of other countries in the region. Partly for this reason, the Philippines suffers from a shortage of classrooms even as participation rates deteriorate. The elementary-school participation rate dropped from 96.8 percent in school year 2000-2001 to 85.1 percent in 2008-2009, while the high-school participation rate slipped from 66.1 percent to 60.7 percent.

Academic performance in Science and Math among elementary and high school students remains dismal.

We can glean from the answers of the presidential candidates to the following questions how the next administration will address the challenge of improving Philippine education:

How will you arrest the declining school participation rates?

How will you solve the classroom shortage?

Will you increase the budget for education under your administration?

By how much?

How will you improve the quality of education in the country?
Are you in favor of an additional year (a total of 11 years—7 years elementary and 4 years high school) for basic education? Why? Why not?
What about teachers’ salaries?

Benigno Aquino III
Liberal Party

ONE OF THE REASONS FOR the decline in school participation is the poor health of pupils. The health program must be supplemented by a feeding program. But where do you get the money?

You build 40,000 schools or enroll about a million students in private schools. If you enroll the same class in a private school instead of building classrooms, chairs or blackboards the price difference is P100,000 per classroom, which can fund the feeding program.

The facilities are already there and the private schools become your partner in taking care of the overhead.

The ideal education budget is 5 percent (of GDP) but we are only around 3 percent today.

Before I spend money, I’ll make sure that I already have it. We’re targeting to increase the tax effort by 2 percentage points or about P150 billion, depending on the deficit that will be bequeathed to us.

And then you have P280 billion lost to corruption, which could have been used for policies, programs and projects.

Increasing the number of school years is also our position. The 10-year program is compounded by the fact that we have ‘‘shifting.” What was once eight hours a day of classes is now down to four hours.

And then the students are hard-pressed. I asked education officials during the budget hearings in the Senate because it was said that science and health concepts were being discussed [in the same period]. Does that mean they tackle three subjects in one sitting?

“Do [students] have this book called ‘English for You and Me?’ ” I asked. “Yes,” they replied. “Do you do this every year?” I said. “No, every five years,” they said. “How come after five years, you still come up with a book that has 500 errors?” I asked. They never gave a good answer.

On teachers’ salaries, we have the Salary Standardization Law-3 which the chief executive has to implement. At the same time, for the entire bureaucracy, you want the concept of meritocracy to be the prevailing mode governing promotion and increases. Interview by Philip Tubeza

JC de los Reyes
Ang Kapatiran

IMPROVEMENT IN EDUCATION as well as in the delivery of other basic public services rests largely on eradicating graft in government. This way more funds can be made available to address the need for more classrooms, teachers, books, an increase in teachers salaries, and more state universities.

Theodore Roosevelt said: “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Hence, the Ang Kapatiran shall:

Build a nation of character and promote the integral development and total well-being of all Filipinos through values formation.

Discourage the glorification of sex and violence, pornography, dishonesty, vice, materialism and hedonism, and replace them with structures of virtue, peace, responsibility and achievement.

Actively promote responsible parenthood and natural family planning.

Encourage media to foster values that contribute to the formation of a national commitment that is maka-Diyos, maka-buhay, maka-bayan at maka-tao.

Promote the culture of life, peace, active nonviolence and progressive disarmament.

Declare as contrary to public policy, morals and interest, good customs and the common good the glorification of the culture of death and violence.

Enhance investments in human resource development, especially by strengthening education in the sciences, mathematics, engineering and English. Interview by Jerome Aning

Joseph Estrada
Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino

CHILDREN STOP GOING TO school because of hunger. We have to ensure that there is enough food for our people.

Doesn’t the Department of Education have a feeding program? They give instant noodles to the children. But even the money for the noodles is stolen. It still boils down to food security and addressing corruption.

We will use the military’s engineering corps to help build classrooms, and give more freedom to women to plan their own family size.

Of course (I will raise the education budget). I gave the biggest per capita budget to education. You can check the records. During the first week of my administration, I raised the allowance of teachers.

I’m in favor of an additional year. The disparity between the rich and the poor continues to grow. The rich families are able to send their children to nursery, kindergarten. The children of the poor go directly to Grade 1. The children of the poor have no chance of competing. In San Juan (when I was mayor), I put up daycare centers that provided free preschool education to the children of the poor. Interview by Norman Bordadora

Richard Gordon

WE ARE GOING TO MAKE sure that our children will get the best in education. I want to attract better teachers by raising the monthly salary to P40,000. I want our children to get Kindle (a device that can store electronic versions of books and other references) in schools instead of error-ridden textbooks.

I will get the needed funds for these by imposing a 50-centavo tax on text. If we impose a tax on some 2 billion text messages sent every day, we can raise P365 billion in one year. That is the contribution of every Filipino, rich and poor, so that my maid’s son can have the same education as what my grandchildren have.

I will also subsidize the salaries of private schoolteachers as long as they show a good record. The fund will be administered by a health and education acceleration program. It is not really a tax but our contribution to education and health. If people discover that the text money goes to improve education, I’m sure they will text more.

I will use the P170 billion originally allocated to education (in the national budget) in improving classrooms and health. We will address the shortage of classrooms. This budget will also cover food in schools.

I agree to adding two years to basic education but not immediately because we will need more budget for that. But I’d like to do it within my first three years as President, especially if our tax on text will be successful.Interview by Edson C. Tandoc Jr.

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presidentiables stand on population growth

March 7, 2010 7 comments

we are publishing here the whole article published by PDI on the presidentiable’s stand on population growth.


How they stand on population
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:51:00 03/06/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Talk of the Town is running the stand of presidential candidates on a number of issues, starting with the country’s fast-growing population, now estimated at more than 92 million.

We asked the candidates the following questions:

* Under your administration, what would be your population policy?

* Are you in favor of artificial family planning methods like pills, condoms and IUDs?

* Do you support proposals to teach sex education in all schools, public and private, starting Grade 5?

* Do you think the country’s population growth stunts socioeconomic development and aggravates poverty?

* What is your stand on the reproductive health bill? Has your position changed? Why? (House Bill No. 5043 calls for sex education in all schools starting Grade 5 and the promotion of contraceptives, among other things.)

Except for Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Villar, whose staff submitted their respective answers, the candidates were interviewed by Inquirer reporters covering the presidential campaign.


Benigno Aquino III
Liberal Party

My administration will fully support the crafting of a firm policy that will address the serious problem on population. It will be based on the idea of responsible parenthood: imposing on parents that they should play a key role in ensuring that each and every child they bring into this world has the opportunity to lead a good life, and educating them about the means with which to plan their families so they can create families based on their ability to sustain their needs.
In the process of providing a range of options and information to couples, both natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented.

Children’s access to media, especially the Internet, necessitates an earlier (sex) education for them to be able to act as responsible adults. The sex education curriculum should be morally sound, has to be derived from reliable sources and delivered by responsible educators.

If we intend to maximize our resources and ensure that the basic needs of every citizen are met, the population issue has to be addressed. For instance, even now, we sorely lack textbooks and classrooms to accommodate our current student population. While this is also a problem because of corruption, it will be more difficult to fix the situation if we have to keep up with a soaring population.

I believe the reproductive health bill must be examined. One of the points I wish to interpellate is the bill’s provision of a hospital budget for contraceptives. If government hospitals will have it, that means there’s a budget for it. There is a truism that if you have a budget and you don’t spend it you’ll lose it. This might lead to hospital staff pushing people into using contraceptives instead of presenting them as a choice. There has to be penalties against that. Submitted by Aquino’s staff



Joseph Estrada
Pwersa ng Masa

One of our major problems is (a fast-growing) population. During my time as President, the population growth rate was more than two percent. That means more than a million children were born every year.

We built classrooms but we still lacked classrooms. Hundreds of thousands of children are undernourished. The problem is (lack of) family planning. I am against abortion. With the many problems that we have, I believe that women should be given the freedom to plan the family that they can afford.

Prevention (of pregnancy) is not a crime. Abortion is a crime. Perhaps we can use condoms or other forms of contraception. Do we want our children to become criminals? It would be much more of a burden. Do we want them to become prostitutes? We have to weigh these things.
Interview by Norman Bordadora



Richard Gordon

My population policy is simple: no abortion. I will not make the population as an excuse—95 million people are going to be there when I sit as President. I have been brought up believing that man, if he is properly educated, has a free choice.

Responsible parenthood should be inculcated in our people. But I will not force them. Neither will I spend government funds to curb population. I want a quality population.

A huge population under poor leadership will stunt our development. But good leadership will uplift the capability of our people and use the population as an edge later on.

You will not graduate under my administration in high school without learning a skill that you can work with. The size of our population right now is a disadvantage, but it can be an advantage under the right leader.

It is up to the people to use contraceptives. But I will say: “These are the healthy ones. These are the safe ones.” To me, health and education are No. 1. They go side by side. So I want to pay the teachers well. I want to pay the doctors in the countryside P50,000 each. If I can raise the money the way I want to, I can pay them P70,000 so they can stay in the country.

I am also in favor of sex education in schools, rather than have our children learn it on the street. Sex is a good thing. It should be taught properly. This is important because of the explosion of mass media and the Internet. I would rather have children learn it from their parents or from the school.

I don’t think the RH bill will be approved. I cannot say yes or no to the bill because it will still permutate when it is discussed in Congress. But I am for the responsible use of population and responsible parenthood. If push comes to shove, I would say “if you have more than two children, then you will pay” for the third child’s public education and health services. Interview by Edson Tandoc



Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

My population policy will [be based on] freedom of moral choice. The government should support a moral choice made by the people. We will encourage private sector participation, through NGOs, to inform the people.

I will respect the sanctity of a decision to plan the family based on a moral choice. But once a moral choice is made, the government must support that choice, except for abortion.

If a person makes that moral choice [on artificial family planning methods], based on his conscience, and ask the government for help, then the government must help him.

As a policy, it’s freedom of choice. And that choice should be secret and sacred. The privacy of that choice is important.

I think we were taught reproduction and other elements of sex education in Grade 7 in a Catholic school. So, I think it depends on the school. Let’s make it not a policy but dependent on the school.

It (the country’s population growth) does (stunt socioeconomic development and aggravate poverty) at this stage. We can only provide so much for how many people. But equally important to the economic impact of population is the fact that the Philippines has finite territory and the population is increasing. We have a limited number of resources and many areas are getting more vulnerable because of the effects of climate change.

I originally wanted to support it (RH bill). But I saw the acrimony over the bill and it was not getting anywhere. So, what does that do? Population is still growing. We might have to find another way. And that balance I see is to support a moral choice.

(My position changed) when the debate became heated . As a public figure, you get a sense of the balance and you have to make a judgment call. Is this policy workable or practicable? If it’s not you have to find a way to solve the problem.

When I was a congressman, I never supported any RH bill. Officially I did not support it. But personally, “baka puwede (it might be possible).” Only in this Congress has there been an almost serious attempt to do it, and it has created a lot of acrimony. Interview by TJ Burgonio



Manuel Villar
Nacionalista Party

I am basically prolife. I think the teaching of proper values of how to nurture children and parents’ responsibilities to them should be hammered constantly.

Those (artificial family planning methods) are personal choices and should remain as such. I do respect the people’s independence, freedom of choice with regard to family matters.

It (sex education in all schools) might result in more serious problems if we expose children to the matter of sex at the Grade 5 level.

Our current population should be viewed as an asset and ways should be discovered on how economic growth can be helped by population size. India and China are growing fast and they are the most populated countries in the world.

I’m against it (the RH bill). We should let parents decide. The government should just guide them. Submitted by Villar’s staff

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