/ 18 September 2022

THE PHILIPPINE Business for Education pressed Congress to prioritize the recovery of the education system in the deliberations for the 2023 budget.

“Much is at stake, and we cannot address our learning losses without sufficient resources. The government must also equip our teachers with the right skills and training and focus on programs that are student-centered,” PBED’s Executive Director Lovelaine Basillote said.

In the past, only 3 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product has been allotted to the education sector. While the proposed 2023 budget for basic education is higher at 4.3 percent, it still does not meet the global standard of 6 percent.

During the Department of Education’s budget briefing before the House appropriations committee, Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio said that the agency plans to open more programs for students. She also stressed that the agency will be investing in flexible learning and innovative solutions to cope with the classroom shortage.

“All hands must be on deck to help bring the country out of this crisis. The government must act quickly and invest not only in quality basic education but also in nutrition and life-long opportunities. The private sector and organizations such as PBEd can help bridge the gaps and provide the government the needed support in order to improve our education system,” Basillote said.

Last year, PBEd launched a campaign calling attention to the country’s learning crisis as the Philippines finished at the bottom of international learning assessments on science, mathematics and reading competency.

A recent World Bank report said that the Philippines has the highest level of learning poverty in East Asia and the Pacific, from 70 percent in 2019 to 91 percent this year. This means that nine out of 10 Filipino children aged 10 are still struggling to read simple texts.