Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay has backed up the complaints of students in terms of insufficient increase in the budget for Education and said that the government must reassess its priorities and make adjustments as budget deliberations continue in Congress.
According to Magsaysay, there are a lot of problems persistent in the Education sector that need funds to be addressed including the hiring of more teachers and the issue of lack of classrooms and books in public schools.
“The slight increase in the Education budget is way below the recommendation of the United Nations of 6 percent especially for a country mired with as much problems in this sector as we,” she said.
Based on the 2012 national budget, the government alloted P357 billion to debt servicing while social sevicing is left with only a small portion of the pie.
“The P38.8 billion increase from last year’s budget (in Education) is only intended for the mandated increase in the wages of teachers and personnel, which is well deserved, but as for the rest, it is pretty much the same story as last year. The problem is that it does not address the issue of inflation or the increasing cost of supplies. Nor does it address the problem of the balloning number of students who will be enrolling for the coming school year. It does not answer the question of whether or not the books with errnoeous texts will be replaced, or will still be used in public schools, and this does not account for any contingency that the sector might encounter in the year to come,” she said.
“If the budget gets passed as is, then we should expect the education sector to encounter more problems in the future because not only is the budget insufficient to address present problems but may well be the cause of more dillemmas for teachers and students,” she said.
“Education is an investment that the government must prioritize because they are investing in the future of the youth. If we scrimp on them now, what kind of future leaders will we have? Listen to the pleas of the students because they are the ones being hurt by the budget cuts.”#