June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Solons seek bigger education budget

WITH no Philippine university landing in the top 100 of a survey of Asian higher education institutions (HEIs), two House members on Thursday vowed to push for the education sector to have a bigger budget allocation to raise the quality of education at par with global standards.

Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. and Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong made the declaration in reaction to the statement of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. that the country needs to pursue a comprehensive and all-encompassing strategy that will turn the trend around, after Philippine HEIs dropped below the top 100 of the Times Higher Education’s 2024 Asia University Rankings.

Abante, chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, expressed sadness over the development, but commended the President for committing to do much work in order to turn the trend around. 

“Nakakalungkot po na malaman natin yung nangyari na nawala tayo sa top 100. And we commend the President for doing (or committing) that,” he said.

He assured the President that Congress will provide all the necessary means particularly in putting up a budget to improve the quality of the country’s education system. 

“Magiging mas maganda ang ating education dito, magiging quality education tayo dito. At hindi lang yan kundi magbabalik tayo sa araw noon ng ating edukasyon. Talagang hinahanap ito ng pati foreigners sa ating bansa,” Abante said.

Adiong said that aside from providing the necessary budgetary allotment to improve the country’s education system, they would also check the criteria used in the conduct of the survey, from facilities to faculties, to research-based results of each university across the globe, and across Asia.

Both congressmen also saw the drop in rankings as an additional reason to allow foreign ownership of higher education institutions, as included in the economic charter change that the House is pushing.

Abante said allowing foreign universities to come in will force local universities to compete. 

“Talagang pag-iigihan nila ito. Ganoon din, sana, maibalik din yung tinatawag nating voucher system ng CHED para sa mga estudyante natin na talagang nag aaral at talagang maganda ang kanilang educational background,” he said.  

“Kaya nga po kami dito, gusto natin ipanukala na magkaroon ng liberalization of higher education because that’s precisely what we’re discussing to you in the previous weeks and months,” Adiong said, explaining that the intention of the House is “to promote our education, and be at par with the quality of education that’s provided for by universities across Asia.” 

He explained that the survey vindicated the concern of the House of Representatives to really push for the entry of foreign ownership of universities in the country so that Filipinos can avail themselves of and capitalize on the possible benefits on the country’s higher education system, 

“It’s time for the country to revive the issue, debate and discuss on how we can fully develop and improve the quality of our education in the country. Kasi sabi ko nga, opportunity dapat yung nagkaroon tayo ng discussion about Cha-cha. Itong survey na ito vindicated us na kailangan talaga, na it’s time really to take hold of the opportunities that are being enjoyed in other countries in Asia in terms of the quality of education in these countries,” Adiong said.