PBEd to Marcos administration: Prioritize long-term education reforms in SONA

Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) urged Pres. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. to prioritize education and use his political will to make education reforms happen in order to curb the effects of the learning crisis. 

“We must make education and nutrition our national concern and national priority. If we focus on developing our people first, many of our problems—from corruption to poverty, to low productivity to joblessness—will be easier to solve,” PBEd President Chito Salazar said.

“To make education reforms happen…we must set aside political calculations in choosing what is right and what is correct for our children,” Salazar added. 

In a press conference held on Friday, July 21 in Taguig City, PBEd presented issues and priority reforms in education based on its year-long consultation and roundtable discussions with different education and industry experts and stakeholders.

PBEd emphasized the need to fix the country’s weak education governance system in order to address the compounded problems brought about by decades of neglect across administrations. 

“Education is a multi-year, multi-decade, multi-administration problem, so it should be given the right attention and resources…We always talk about infrastructure, roads, ports, bridges, airports, tourism campaigns but shouldn’t we invest in what great, prosperous, equitable nations and societies are made of. Hindi ba dapat we invest in our people first before anything else. Hindi ba dapat tao muna bago kalye, bago tulay, bago airport,” Salazar stressed.

The group emphasized the need for agencies to create a long-term education agenda and have efficient inter-agency coordination to ensure consistency and sustainability in education plans. 

PBEd also underscored that local government units must be granted more autonomy and resources so that they will be empowered to come up with education solutions based on local conditions.

“We hope that our leaders listen to the recommendations of experts and of stakeholders from the ground. From there, we will be able to derive better solutions that are more sustainable and evidence-based that have a lasting impact on the lives of many Filipinos,” Salazar said.