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 to SK leaders: Promote entrepreneurship, financial literacy among youth

Pia to SK leaders: Go beyond sponsoring sports tournaments; encourage financial literacy, entrepreneurship in your generation

Nacionalista Party senatorial bet Pia S. Cayetano is encouraging youth leaders across the country to take the initiative in promoting financial literacy and entrepreneurship among members of their generation, as a means to secure their future.

“I want to plant these seeds in the minds of our youth leaders in the hope that they would come up with programs like this, and I would love to have the opportunity to help them also,” said Cayetano, a lawyer and entrepreneur who earned her economics degree from the University of the Philippines.

The congresswoman was in Pampanga earlier this week where she had a sit-down discussion with leaders of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation in San Fernando City.

In her talk with the SK leaders, Cayetano encouraged them to go beyond sponsoring the usual sports tournaments in their community, and try to initiate other programs that will promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship among their constituents. 

“It’s interesting that we have a common interest, which is sports. But I also realize that it is not enough, because, as they told me, that’s what their sector already expects from them,” she said. 

“I’m so happy because sports fills a big need in their sector. But I am encouraging them to explore other areas like financial literacy and entrepreneurship, (in order) to understand what they need to secure their future,” Cayetano added.

Cayetano has been going around the country to discuss with youth leaders possible ways through which the government could respond to the needs and aspirations of their generation. 

“God willing, if I’m re-elected to the Senate, I would make laws for the Filipino people – and they say we have a very young population. I have to always be in tune with the views of the Filipino youth. And there’s no other way but to sit down, discuss and listen to them,” she said, while stressing the need to prepare young Filipinos to become job-ready, globally competitive, and productive members of society. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano holds a sit-down discussion with youth leaders in San Fernando, Pampanga on Tuesday to talk about how the government could respond to their sector’s needs.

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.

Pia: Encourage self expression among the youth

In an intimate talk with students, teachers, writers, and bloggers in Davao City, House Deputy Speaker and Taguig City Representative emphasized the importance of encouraging self-expression and developing communication skills, especially among the youth.

Cayetano met with officers and members of ‘Resurgent PH’ over the weekend, a group committed to bring out facts and truth on current issues affecting the country through social media.

She said teachers could play a crucial role to encourage self-expression in their students, so that the latter are freely able to convey their thoughts and concerns to society, including their fellow youth, elders and leaders.

To be able to do this, Cayetano said young people must find within them the passion to write or post about subject matters that are close to them, such as family, friendship, education or culture.

On the other hand, she said developing communication skills (oral and written) also empowers by giving our youth the tools they need to be able to convey their messages clearly and effectively to a wide and diverse audience.

Cayetano noted that the K-12 basic education program encourages the use of the ‘mother tounge’ to facilitate better learning, particularly for young students, including those in regions where local languages are widely used in addition to Filipino and English.

This is a good start, but she added that educators must not lose sight of our ‘natural advantage’ as a people when it comes to speaking and writing in English. She underscored how effective messaging starts from one’s passion, aided by communication skills, including the ability to communicate using the languages that are most spoken around the world. #