VP Sara: Partners important in education agenda success

MANILA — Vice President Sara Duterte urged leaders, stakeholders and the private sector to safeguard children's future and work with the government and development partners to ensure the country's goals in education.

The Vice President, who is also Education Secretary, made the call during the Department of Education Partners Convergence at the National Museum here Thursday.

“Let us give Filipino children a chance to compete on an equal playing field with the rest of the world. They are the future of our nation, and investing in their education today will bring great benefits to our country in years to come,” Duterte said.

She also underscored the Department of Education’s MATATAG Agenda in basic education which details solutions to the problems that had “become inherent in the country’s basic education system.”

She said the MATATAG Agenda “hopes to stop the bleeding” that had become inherent in the country’s basic education system.

“There is no denying that many of these problems are deeply ingrained in our basic education system — and some are deeply rooted in the reprehensible culture of corruption searing through the future of our learners,” Duterte said.

“The MATATAG Agenda hopes to stop the bleeding,” she added.

Education, according to Duterte, has been one of the top priorities of the Marcos administration, which can be seen through its current funding efforts.

In the 2023 General Appropriations Act, the education sector received the highest budget with P895.2 billion. Out of this, the Department of Education received P678.3 billion for basic education.

But these allocations for basic education, Duterte said, are not enough to cover all the requirements needed in achieving our MATATAG Agenda.

“Thus, partners and stakeholders who share our commitments are essential to delivering quality, inclusive, adaptive, resilient, and future-ready basic education for our 28 million Filipino learners across the nation,” said said.

Duterte also cited the partner local government units’ (LGUs) supplement funding for basic education through their Special Education Fund (SEF), and the support extended by the foreign embassies based in the Philippines.

She added that Official Development Assistance (ODA) from various international development partners have allowed the department to implement innovative programs prioritizing intervention in finance, school infrastructure and facilities, administration, curriculum and teaching, human resources and organizational development, operations, and procurement.

“As we work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in basic education, we must acknowledge that no organization or government can achieve them alone. We need strong partnerships that involve all actors, including the private sector, civil society, and local communities,” Duterte said.

“Let us stand firm in our commitment to building resilient communities of learners,” she added.