CHED Chair, Dr. Prospero De Vera discusses the continuous progress in improving the quality of Philippine Higher Education during the Duterte Legacy Campaign launch at PICC in Pasay City on Friday, jan. 17, 2020. (Photo by Gelaine Louise Gutierrez/PIA-NCR)
QUEZON CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA)--"Education is the single most important legacy that we can bestow upon our youth"-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
As the Duterte Administration enters into the second half of its term, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) looks back at the landmark achievements of President Rodrigo Duterte that has delivered real change in the lives of the Filipino people.
Poverty alleviation, peace and security, infrastructure, education, health, environment and anti-corruption are among the President's lasting legacies that were highlighted as the ones that made a huge impact in his governance.
But among his legacies, Duterte's commitment to provide quality and affordable education to all, counts the most.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson, Dr. Prospero de Vera said the passage of Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act should be considered as a major reform in the higher education sector and will go down in history as the biggest social justice legacy of the Duterte administration.
"Years from now, Republic Act No. 10931 will be one of the most important legacies of the Duterte administration, if not one of the major accomplishments of any presidency. It is an investment and a legacy that will lead to the realization of a Filipino nation that is prepared to face the challenges of the twenty first century, a nation that is strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure," De Vera said during the Duterte Legacy Campaign launch, Friday, January 17, 2020 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
In 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey result showed that 3.8 million Filipinos are out-of-school youths (OSY). Out of the figure, 87.3 percent were 16 to 24 years old, the age bracket wherein they are expected to attend college. Twenty percent of those who were surveyed revealed that high cost pf tuition of financial difficulties forced them to not to pursue higher education.
On August 3, 2017 Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality tertiary Education Act into law.
Under the law, 190 higher education institutions (HEIs), 78 local universities and colleges (LUCs), and 112 state-run universities and colleges (SUCs), across the country are covered by the program.
The law went full swing in 2018 and the government has allocated Php 40-billion for the schoolyear 2018-2019 for the implementation of the following programs: P16-billion for Free Higher Education; P7-billion for Free Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET); P16-billion for Tertiary Education Subsidy and P1-billion for Student Loan Program.
De Vera also bared that CHED has in fact added 27 more public universities and colleges to the number of HEIs, totaling to 214 institutions implementing the free tuition law covered by RA 10931 by July 2019.
In the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, there are 19 HEIs implementing free tution fee to include: Eulogio "Amag" Rodriguez Institute of Science & Technology, Marikina Polytechnic College, Philippine Normal University, Philippine State College of Aeronautics, Polytechnic College of the Philippines, Rizal Technological University, Technological University of the Philippines, University of the Philippines, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Pamantasan ng Muntinlupa, Dr. Filemon C. Aguilar of Las Pinas, Navotas Polytechnic College, City of Malabon University, Valenzuela City Polytechnic College, Pateros technological College, and Taguig City University.
De Vera also underscores that education is a vital element of sustainable development by saying that education does not only equip students with skills to be competent and dynamic members of the workforce to improve their incomes, but it also provides an opportunity to discover new sources of growth through innovation, which boosts the economy's overall capacity.
He said the Duterte Administration envisions that by 2022, Filipinos will have more opportunities to develop their full potential.
"They will have better access to services and opportunities to acquire 21st century skills and competencies," De Vera said, "at the same time, they will have easier transition into workforce," he added.
Statistics show there have been improvements in the employability of the working age population under the first three years of Duterte Administration as the share of discouraged jobseekers in total unemployment rate continues to decline.
Discouraged jobseekers (both new entrants and those already part of the workforce) decreased to 115% of the total unemployed in 2018 from 12.5 in 2014.
The number of youth not employed nor in school also decreased tp 19.9% in 2018 from 22.7% in 2015.
These could be attributed to the various educational reforms introduced by the current admisnistration. Aside from the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, there are also the full implementation of the K-12 program, the Alternative Lwarning System (ALS), and the build-up of infrastructure in the education sector.
The administration also seeks to enhance community-based training for special sectors, improve technical research education, and ease access to technical vocational education and training, among others.
The government also seeks to prepare the education system for the so called "fourth-industrial revolution" that brings rapid transformational technology in certain industries that may replace jobs done by humans. (PIA-NCR)