Team Pnoy senatorial candidate Edgardo “Sonny” Angara has vowed to push for a law that would provide free college education to family beneficiaries of the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer, also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), in order to alleviate the sufferings of poor families and contribute to nation-building.
Speaking to reporters at Paliparan II National High School in Dasmariñas, Cavite Friday, Angara said previous administrations had helped poor students by providing college scholarships and student loan programs, although some of them did not really come from poor families.
Angara, a representative of Aurora and chair of the House of Representatives’ committee on higher and technical education, said he would file a bill providing for free college education to at least one member of an indigent family under the 4Ps once elected to the Senate.
As a human development program of the national government, the 4Ps is a social protection strategy that invests in the health and education of poor children. Under the program, each household can get P500 for health and P300 educational assistance for up to three children below 14 years old, or a maximum of P1,400. As of January 9, 2013, the program has 3,843,502 household beneficiaries and operates in 1,605 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in all 17 regions nationwide.
Angara, a former law professor, said he would further support every Filipino family’s dream to succeed in life through access to quality education.
“Though we may differ in status, people must have equal opportunity when it comes to education, to the quality of education that they get. I wanted to give this to the students as assistance, to give our youth the best education that they deserve,” Angara said.
Noting that 80 percent of the country’s students are enrolled in public schools, Angara said he had passed laws that strengthened the quality of education in the country such as The Universal Kindergarten Education Act and the Salary Standardization Law III which raised the basic salary of public school teachers.
He further said that unemployment is one problem that he would like to address, stressing that a good economy should also provide people better jobs and employment opportunities.
“It’s not enough that we produce top-notch graduates. We should also have a top-notch economy that creates top-notch jobs. The whole package of education and employment—that is what every Filipino family is asking from their government,” Angara said.
He vowed to always champion the welfare of students and teachers, senior citizens, as well as ordinary workers given a chance to serve in the Senate.