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Education spending

Manila, Philippines – Government should spend more for education rather than pay dubious foreign debt year-in and yearout.

This argument was advanced by Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino in the light of the finding by an official survey that said six million Filipino youths aged six to 24 are not studying.

It would be a grave injustice to all of them if the Aquino administration, led by Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, would still insist that State Colleges and Universities fend for themselves in spite of the “grossly insufficient education budget.”

By not taking heed of the survey results, Palatino said, “The alarming number of out-of-school youths is a sad fact that the Aquino government does not seemingly want to address as it continues to reject the allocation of sufficient funds for education. The future of our youth and country is bleak given the low education priority of the Aquino government. Providing a substantial increase for the education budget is urgent and necessary.”

According to the 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) report released early this month, 16 percent or 6.24 million of the total 39 million Filipinos sixto 24years-old are out-of-school youths (OSY).

Government defines an OSY as someone who is not attending formal school and or not gainfully employed in the case of youths aged 18 to 24 who have not finished college or even a technical-vocational course. (Marvyn N. Benaning)