Quality education is the priority of the proposed P5.26 trillion national budget – Lawmaker
SENATE Finance Committee Chairman Juan Edgardo Angara said that providing the youth quality education is one of their priorities under the proposed P5.26 trillion 2023 national budget.
Angara stressed that it is their obligation to ensure the safe return of face-to-face classes.
“Ngayon na ganap nang patutuparin ang face-to-face classes, kailangan natin siguraduhing ligtas ang ating mga mag-aaral sa kanilang pagbabalik sa silid-aralan. Pagkatapos din ng halos dalawa’t kalahating taon na nasa lockdown, marapat lamang na de kalidad ang pagtuturo sa kanila, at kapaki-pakinabang ang kanilang muling pagpasok sa paaralan,” Angara said.
“Halimbawa, sa rekomendasyon ni Senior Vice Chairperson Pia Cayetano at ng mismong DepEd, sinigurado natin na puwedeng gamitin ng lahat ng paaralan— mula Kinder hanggang Grade 12— ang kanilang MOOE para magkaroon ng tamang ventilation ang mga silid-aralan, laboratoryo, at ibang learning spaces sa paaralan; para makabili at gumamit ng mga Covid19 test kits para sa mga faculty at staff; para may tamang respiratory at hand hygiene; at rehabilitation ng mga water at sanitation facilities,” he added.
The senator also assured funding for different student financial assistance programs and scholarships; Senior High School Voucher Program; Education Service Contracting for Junior High School; Student Financial Assistance Programs; Joint Delivery Voucher for SHS Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Specialization; and the Private Education Student Financial Assistance.
Angara said scholarships and training will still be available to enhance their chances of landing quality jobs.
“Under TESDA, this includes the Special Training for Employment Program or STEP, the Training for Work Scholarship Program or TWSP, and the Tulong Trabaho Scholarship Program or TTSP. Upon the recommendation of Senior Vice Chairperson Loren Legarda, we also distributed funds for these programs and other similar training initiatives to the regional offices of Tesda for quicker disbursement and better utilization,” he stressed.
The senator also mentioned the problem on mental health of students because of the lockdown.
“Naging talamak din ang mga isyu hinggil sa mental health ng ating mga mag-aaral habang nasa lockdown sila. Kaya tiniyak namin sa panukalang badyet na mag-iimplimenta ang DepEd ng malawakang Mental Health Policy for Students and Personnel alinsunod sa Mental Health Act or the RA 11036. Inaatasan din ang DepEd na magkaroon ng pool of registered guidance counselors at mental health program administrators na silang maghahanap at mag-eensayo ng mga guidance designates at peer facilitators sa mga paaralan,” Angara stressed.
“The return to face-to-face classes is among the clearest signs that the return to normalcy is near. But this should not mean a reversion to complacency. Hence, your committee has taken steps to ensure that as the economy opens up, we continue to strengthen our healthcare system,” the senator said.