Pia wants year-round sports programs in schools

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano is urging local government officials and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) leaders to promote year-round sports programs in their respective communities, to encourage Filipino students to stay in school.

In a radio interview in the “Home of the Champions” General Santos City on Tuesday, Cayetano stressed the importance of sports in providing more opportunities for the youth to be productive and to develop their discipline. 

“Having year-round sports programs for the youth can really help our kids stay and excel in school. For me, the kind of discipline that they learn from sports is beneficial to their growth and development,” she said. 

The congresswoman added that sports activities are a good way to motivate young Filipinos to keep coming to school, which would in turn reduce the number of out-of-school youths and student dropouts in the country.

She then called on Filipino parents and teachers to keep encouraging their kids to harness their energy in sports and apply the same in their studies. 

Cayetano was a varsity volleyball player during her college days, and was even recruited to play for the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team. When she became a senator, she authored laws that provide benefits to young athletes, one of which is the Student-Athlete Protection Act (Republic Act 10676). 
Meanwhile, Cayetano also urged local officials and SK leaders to give assistance to the families of out-of-school youths in order to ensure that the kids are properly guided to continue their studies and have a better future.

“One of the most common causes of children dropping out from schools is usually problems in their homes. Kaya nananawagan ako sa mga leaders natin on the ground na tulungan ang mga pamilyang ito para matuloy sa pag-aaral ang mga anak nila and make something of their lives,” Cayetano stressed. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano speaks at the International Youth Forum’s World Youth Camp held on Monday (April 15) in Lagao Gymnasium, General Santos City.

Pia seeks new tack to reduce school dropout rate

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano believes that it is possible to effectively reduce the number of school dropouts throughout the country by giving educators the means to support students with learning disabilities. 

Cayetano, in a radio interview in Cebu City on Thursday, stressed that students who drop out of elementary and high school usually have special needs early on that were not given proper attention. 

“The reality is, many out of school youths dropped out because they had learning disabilities. They had no access to support systems in their school. It’s very possible that their own parents, perhaps due to poverty, also had no ability to support them,” she said.

A 2018 study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) showed that undiagnosed learning disabilities are among the most common causes of risk for dropping out among Grades 1-6 students.

“These children simply could not cope with the pressure. So we need to identify and assist these kids before they drop out. We need schools, especially during the first three grades, to have assistant teachers who can give additional attention to them,” Cayetano noted. 

The congresswoman said she plans to discuss with the Department of Education a proposal to establish volunteer programs for parents who are willing to assist teachers in responding to specific needs of students in the classrooms.

Cayetano also called on Sangguniang Kabataan leaders in the country to help encourage out-of-school youths to return to school by taking advantage of programs available to them, such as Alternative Learning Systems or ALS. 

“Let’s find a way for them to excel and then bring them back in alternative learning systems,” she added, while citing the Open High School Program, a system of education that uses multimedia technologies and flexible class schedules to allow students to continue their studies beyond the conventional classroom setup.

The author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 10665 or the Open High School System Act, Cayetano vowed to push for the law’s proper implementation by ensuring that every school district in the country offers ALS programs for high school students. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano discusses her proposed programs on education and employment in a local radio interview in Cebu City on Thursday.

Pia vows to champion pro-youth measures

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano on Monday vowed to fight for a ‘package’ of education laws in Congress that will cater to all the needs and concerns of Filipino students. 

In a radio interview in Dumaguete City, the congresswoman said she plans to file bills that will complement the pro-education measures that she authored in previous Congresses. 

“I want to file continuing laws or a series of interrelated measures that will really contribute to the welfare of our students. It’s not enough to have only one idea. We need to cover all the concerns of each sector,” she stressed. 

For one, Cayetano said she wants to strengthen the implementation of Republic Act 10647 or the Ladderized Education Act, which she authored and sponsored in the Senate. It institutionalizes the ladderized interface between technical-vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education.

“Under the law, students have the option to find work after finishing a short course on technical-vocation and then study an advanced course afterwards, with all their experience credited,” Cayetano explained.

On the other hand, she cited that ladderized programs are not yet available in many schools in the country. Hence, she wants more educational institutions to develop such programs.

“What I am planning to do if I get back to the Senate is to check how many schools are already offering this program. Not all students have the means to continue studying, some have to work after they graduate,” Cayetano said. 

Furthermore, the Taguig representative said she wants to introduce an amendment in Republic Act 10648 or the Iskolar ng Bayan Law, to provide additional educational assistance to deserving students. 

“Without the support in terms of allowances for transportation, board and lodging, and other school supplies, free tuition will not be enough for many students,” noted Cayetano, who also authored RA 10648.

“One of the work that I really need to do is to bring back my original proposal under the Iskolar ng Bayan Law. I will amend that to include allowances for deserving students,” she added, stressing that the welfare of Filipino students should be a public concern.#

Senatorial aspirant Pia Cayetano consults SK leaders at the ‘Painitan sa Tiangge’ in Dumaguete City about her proposed measures for the youth.

Pia seeks bigger budget to boost PH education

Pushes for measures beyond free tuition

In time for this year’s graduation season, Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano reiterated her commitment to champion measures that will improve the quality of education for Filipino students and provide them with more assistance.

Cayetano was in Bacolod City on Sunday, where she met with members of the city’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation to discuss how she will push for programs to help the youth. The congresswoman said she intends to lobby for increased budget allocation for education to institutionalize measures that will complement the law on free tuition in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

“Our education budget should not stop at free tuition. It should include investments in the quality of education. We should rank our universities and even the private schools based on this kind of quality,” she said in a mix of Ilonggo and English.

Cayetano said more funds should be allotted for the improvement of schools’ infrastructure, training programs for Filipino teachers, as well as additional assistance for poor and deserving students. She noted that, despite the free tuition for college students, parents still have to shoulder expenses required to take their children to school, including costs for food, transportation, board and lodging, books, and other school supplies, among others.

“There are many more benefits for our students that I plan to institutionalize if I return to the Senate,” Cayetano said in a radio interview also in the city. She said she plans to adopt the best practices of local governments in promoting better access to quality education, such as Taguig City’s Lifeline Assistance for Neighbors In-need (L.A.N.I.), a comprehensive scholarship program intended for the city’s constituents.

The LANI Program offers different scholarship types, including scholarships for students enrolling in premier Philippine universities, grants for those pursuing Masteral or Doctoral degrees, and review assistance for graduates preparing for their board or bar examinations.

“In Taguig, we are very proud that we have a comprehensive program on education. Those are the kinds of programs that I want replicated; the best practices in education that we can institutionalize and standardize,” Cayetano noted. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia Cayetano speaks to SK leaders at the Manukan Country in Bacolod City regarding measures she plans to champion for the youth.

Pia aims to make senior high graduates job-ready

If elected to a new term in the Senate, House Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano said she would prioritize the evaluation of the country’s Senior High School (SHS) system to gauge whether the program has met the objective of making K-12 graduates job-ready. 

“Sa larangan ng edukasyon, ang bibigyan ko ng prayoridad ay ang Senior High School program. Nagpa-graduate na tayo ng first batch ng Senior High Schools last year. Sa dalawang taon na kinuha natin sa buhay nila, ano bang mga skills ang natutunan nila?” Cayetano asked in a radio interview on Tuesday. 

The youth and education advocate said that if given the chance to serve at the Upper Chamber, she would file a Senate resolution seeking to evaluate the implementation of the country’s K-12 Education Program, particularly the SHS programs in both public and private schools across the country. 

To recall, the K-12 system aims, among others, to make senior high graduates job-ready or equipped with basic entrepreneurial skills. 
A study conducted in 2018 by the Philippine Business for Education however showed that only 20 percent of the 70 leading companies in the country are open to hiring SHS graduates.

Meanwhile, a separate study by JobStreet last year revealed that only 24 percent of employers using its website are ready to hire SHS graduates for entry level positions.

“In fact, naka-draft na ang resolution. Ifa-file ko ito agad dahil gusto ko magkaroon ng immediate feedback sa lawmakers sa kung ano ba ang nangyari, kung job-ready ba itong mga bata,” Cayetano shared.

The congresswoman recognized the need to further improve the country’s education system to better fit the demands of hiring industries, as well as to address the job and skills mismatch among Filipino graduates. 

“May nagsasabi talaga sa side ng government at ng private sector na may demand, pero hindi raw nafi-fill. Kulang daw talaga ang mga skilled workers,” Cayetano lamented. 

The senatorial aspirant then proposed to develop a human resource database for senior high and college graduates in the country in order to improve the government’s strategies in meeting the human resource needs of particular booming industries.

Cayetano, who formerly chaired the Senate Committee on Education, is also pushing for the improvement of Filipino youths’ English proficiency to make them more globally competitive. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano discusses her advocacies with youth leaders in Pampanga on Tuesday, including her call to strengthen the country’s Senior High School program to make graduates job-ready.