/ 23 September 2020

SEN. Sonny Angara urged the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Educa-tion to establish partnerships with manufacturers in order to create more jobs.

This way, Filipinos need not work abroad and the country can keep its workforce, Angara said.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance also called on state universities and colleges to put more efforts in helping industries produce more jobs.

During the budget deliberations, Angara lauded the CHED and the SUCs for moving forward to discussions about quality and innovation.

“In this direction of futures thinking, we could add as a metric of performance of the SUCs how we are helping the Filipino producers and manufacturers by producing jobs that are local rather than just producing good graduates who eventually work overseas because we don’t have indus-tries present in our country,” he said.

He lamented that many professionals in the medical  sector, scientists, and engineers end up seeking better opportunities abroad.

The senator said educational institutions can work with the manufacturing sector and the 21st century industries for the creation of more jobs.

“We should encourage all the innovative thinkers in our country to do their part in this effort and in a way, we can move Filipinos up the value chain somehow,” Angara said.

In many developed countries, Angara said, the universities run startup incubators where aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators, usually in the technology sector, are provided with support for their endeavors, usually with the participation of both the public and private sector.

The lawmaker urged the CHED and the SUCs to work with Congress in lobbying for support from the Department of Budget and Management for a provision in the 2021 budget to exempt the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education from the cash-based budgeting.

Senators put provision in the 2020 national budget in order to extend the utilization of allocations of SUCs and local universities and colleges. However, this was vetoed by the President.

“‘Pag masyadong istrikto ang paggamit ng budget, hindi mababayaran ang beneficiaries natin sa Free College Act,” Angara said.