MANILA, May 29, 2014 – In response to the misconception that the issue of education is strictly a concern of the national government, experts urged local governments to muster political will and start ‘prioritizing’ education.
“Money is never enough, there are no local governments who will be able to say ‘we have enough money.’ What is needed is prioritization,” said former Senator Nene Pimentel Jr. at the weekly ‘Tapatan sa Aristocrat’ media forum May 26.
Former Senator Nene Pimentel Jr. emphasized that the mandate to make education the first priority is not only for the national government — from the top to the bottom — but “for everybody,” which includes local government units.
“The duty to build classrooms essentially belongs to national government, DePED, but local governments may also build classrooms,” he added.
As a former Chair of the Committee on Local Government, Pimentel supported amendments “to further strengthen the role of local government units in national development”, which includes education.
In terms of budgeting on the national level, former senator and former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim said the administration should put its money where its mouth is.
“Education should be given primary focus on expenditure,” he said.
According to Lim, a big chunk of the national budget should go to education, instead of national defense. (Chrixy Paguirigan)