By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — As he hopes for every Filipino family to have at least one
member to finish a college education, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go
commits to continue what President Rodrigo Duterte has started to
ensure that more disadvantaged students will have better access to
“Ang edukasyon ang tanging puhunan natin sa mundong ito. Kaya
sisiguraduhin nating makakapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang ating mga anak
upang magkaroon ng mas maginhawang kinabukasan,” Go said.
During the 47th Philippine Business Conference & Expo Presidentiables’
Forum on Thursday, November 18, the presidential aspirant vowed to
develop more programs that would provide struggling families with
better access to quality education nationwide.
“Sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte, sinikap nating mabigyan ng
libreng edukasyon ang lahat. Pero hindi tayo titigil lang dito,
sisiguraduhin rin nating makaka-graduate ang mga ito,” he explained.
“Bukod sa matrikula, may mga ibang gastusin rin ang pinoproblema ng
mga magulang. Dapat mabigyan ito ng sapat na suporta lalo na’t nasa
krisis ang bansa at maraming hirap sa blended learning. Huwag nating
hayaang hindi makapagtapos ang mga bata dahil sa hirap sa buhay,” he
Go likewise reaffirmed that he will continue supporting existing
measures like Republic Act No. 10931, also known as the Universal
Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, as part of his advocacy to
ensure that more educational programs are well-funded even in times of
“Isa ito sa mga legacies ng Duterte Administration na kailangan nating
ipagpatuloy. An estimated 1.6 million poor Filipino students are now
in school without paying for their tuition and miscellaneous fees
because of the government’s Free Higher Education program,” Go cited
in his speech.
Since its enactment, the Duterte Administration has assisted more than
a million underprivileged students in 112 state universities and
colleges nationwide. In addition, more than 500,000 poor students have
been enrolled in private institutions and granted necessary
educational assistance through the Tertiary Education Subsidy.
“Ang Free Higher Education ng Duterte Administration ay tunay na
libre. Walang hinihingi na grade requirement, walang number of units
na kailangan ipasa kada semester. Ang hinihingi lang po namin ay
seryosohin ninyo ang inyong pag-aaral para agad kayo makatapos at
matulungan ang inyong pamilya at bayan,” explained Go.
As schools are slowly reopening face-to-face classes following
President Duterte’s approval, Go still urged concerned authorities to
ensure necessary health protocols are in place to protect the lives of
students and educators.
“Kaya hinihikayat ko ang mga estudyante na patuloy na mag-aral kahit
na may krisis tayong hinaharap, sa paraang ligtas at hindi mailalagay
sa peligro ang buhay nila at ng mga pamilya nila,” he said.
“Mahalaga ang edukasyon pero mas mahalaga ang buhay ng mga Pilipino.
Patuloy po nating binabalanse ang lahat upang maiahon ang ating mga
kababayan mula sa hirap na dulot ng pandemya,” Go added.
The senator also vowed to support sectors who are underserved, such as
indigenous students, students from less privileged backgrounds, and
students with physical and learning disabilities. In this regard, Go
co-authored Republic Act No. 11510 which institutionalizes the
Alternative Learning System (ALS) and improves the delivery of basic
education to the underserved and disadvantaged.
The ALS provides students with specialized programs and alternative
education approaches and strategies which they otherwise would not be
able to receive within the formal learning system.
“Education is a constitutionally enshrined right which the State must
protect and promote. Thus, ensuring education for all should be a top
priority. For this to be achieved, it is vital that opportunities to
learn and receive quality education are accessible to all those who so
desire,” said Go.
As part of his commitment to ensure that the educational sector is
well supported, Go earlier filed Senate Bill No. 396 of which aims to
expand the purposes and application of the Special Education Fund
Under the proposed measure, the allocated funds shall be used for the
operation and maintenance of, among others, public schools; payment of
salaries, allowances and other benefits of teaching and non-teaching
personnel; competency trainings for teaching personnel; operation of
ALS, including payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of
ALS facilitators; educational research; and procurement teaching aids
and other instructional materials.
Go was also instrumental as an author and co-sponsor in the enactment
of Republic Act No. 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5,
which gives civilian government employees, including public school
teachers, salary increases broken down in tranches.
“Patuloy tayong maghahanap ng paraan na mabigyan ng suporta ang ating
educational sector upang hindi matigil ang pag-aaral ng ating mga
kabataang Pilipino. Kung gusto nating umunlad, dapat bigyan natin ng
malaking importansya ang kapakanan ng mga guro para maisaayos ang
pag-aaral ng ating mga kabataan, lalo na sa literacy at numeracy,”
Even before he was elected as senator, Go has been providing
low-income communities with relief which includes computer tablets
which students may use to conveniently access educational materials
and participate better in their classes under the blended learning
“Ang kabataan po ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan. Sila ang ating
pag-asa upang tuluyang umunlad ang ating bansa. Bigyan po natin ng
kahalagahan ang edukasyon na tanging puhunan nila sa kanilang
paglaki,” Go emphasized.
Meanwhile, Go earlier highlighted the positive change in peace and
order felt in communities. He noted the progress made by the campaign
against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption which he vowed to
continue and expand further in order to provide a better and more
secure future for the next generation.
“Tanungin natin ang mga kababayan natin kung nakakalakad ba sila ng
ligtas sa gabi. Tanungin natin ang mga trabahante, lalo na ang mga
OFWs, kung panatag sila na ligtas ang kanilang mga anak habang sila ay
nagtatrabaho sa malalayong lugar. Tanungin natin ang mga magulang kung
naging mas maayos ba ang kanilang pamilyang dating winasak ng iligal
na droga,” he said.
“Ipagpapatuloy natin ang laban na ito upang mabigyan ng mas ligtas,
maginhawa, at komportableng buhay ang ating mga anak,” Go assured. (ai/mtvn)