March 23, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Education was barely discussed in the second PiliPinas 2016 presidential debate held at the University of the Philippines in Cebu last Sunday.
Among the candidates, only Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay slightly talked about education issues, but were vague.
During the debate, Roxas said he will continue the gains of “Daang Matuwid,” wherein “many people received education to help them succeed in their future careers.”
“Itutuloy ko ang ginawa ng ‘Daang Matuwid’ na sinimulan ang pagbibigay ng sapat na edukasyon sa napakaraming tao na hindi nakakapagtapos,” he said.
“Edukasyon bilang tulay sa mas magandang trabaho sa hinaharap,” he added.
In his final statement, Roxas admitted that the government still needs to build many bridges, roads and school classrooms and he believed that it can only be done under the “Daang Matuwid” administration.
“Marami pang tulay, kalye at classrooms ang kailangan ipagawa. Kaya dapat ipaglaban ang ‘Daang Matuwid’,” he noted.
For his part, Binay, who is the standard-bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), mentioned in his closing remarks the “free books and services” given to children in Makati City during his time as mayor.
“Nung panahon ko po libre mga libro at lahat ng pangangailangan ng mga bata,” he said
“Sa aking pamumuno, we were able to deliver quality basic services. Iyon ho ang aking kakayahan na mamuno,” he added.
Many people expressed disappointment for not making education a priority topic in the presidential debate.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) earlier said aside from education, the topics to be discussed in the debate will include health, climate change, corruption, women rights, and disaster preparedness.
“What about the issues that directly concerns the #filipinoyouth, #education? They have not delved into that,” said Benjie Belotindos via his Twitter account.
“Disappointing that health not discussed, so with education, even if these were part of the topics tsk tsk #PHVote #PiliPinasDebates2016,” added Jose Ramon Albert of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, also via his Twitter account.