Duterte failed education sector, indigenous peoples, progressive solons say

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2021 12:23 AM

MANILA - With 10 months left in office, President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing to show for in terms of improving the country’s educational sector and caring for the country’s indigenous communities, a lawmaker said.

This was ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro’s rebuttal to President Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address which the Chief Executive delivered a week ago.

In her speech during the House plenary session, Castro lamented how Duterte has yet to fulfill his promise to teachers and other government employees.

"Matatapos na ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte ngunit hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin natutupad ang kanyang ipinangako sa mga guro at ibang kawani ng gobyerno, patuloy pa rin ang pagtataksil niya sa kanyang pangako, at patuloy pa rin pag-abandona sa sektor ng edukasyon kung kaya’t mas titindi pa ang panawagan namin, lalo na papalapit na ang budget deliberations, na magkaroon ng ligtas, accessible at dekalidad na edukasyon para sa lahat ngayong patuloy pa rin ang pandemya," she said.

Castro also decried the silence of the SONA on the plans for the incoming school year as the pandemic rages, plans for safety in schools from COVID 19, mass vaccination, testing and contact tracing, teachers wages and benefits, and other problems plaguing the sector.

"Mas pinagtuunan ng pansin ng huling SONA ang achievements at pagpraprayoridad sa mga military and uniformed personnel sa usapin ng sweldo at benepisyo. Ipinagmayabang din ang mga proyekto ng NTF-ELCAC na hindi naman napakinabangan ng mamamayan, mas naging kasangkapan pa sila sa pananakot at red-tagging," she said.

Castro also scored the government for the bad implementation of the blended learning in the past school year. Castro also cited the burgeoning population of out of school youth and the worsening state of health of educators. 

"Sa huling SONA, kapos na nga sa suporta, wala ring pagkilala sa mga guro at education support personnel na mga education frontliners para lang maipagpatuloy ang edukasyon. Napipilitan ang mga guro na maglabas ng panggastos dahil sa blended learning kahit pa hindi nakasasapat ang kanilang sahod. Ngayong lagpas isang taon na silang nagtrabaho, wala ring suporta ang gubyerno sa kanilang overtime pay," she said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat listed the administration’s failures in caring for the indigenous people’s affected by the siege of Marawi City, the alleged campaign of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict against schools for indigenous communities, the deaths of Indigenous Peoples in alleged extrajudicial killings, the passage of the anti-terrorism law which allegedly has been weaponized against IPs, the plight of IP’s in the pandemic, and the exploitation of IPs’ ancestral lands, especially through mining and infrastructure projects.

"Sa State of the Nation Address ni Pangulong Duterte, nakakadismaya na hindi nabigyan ng pansin ang mga katutubo at pambansang minorya sa ating bansa. Para punuan ang pagkukulang na ito, hayaan ninyong ilahad ko ang totoong sitwasyon ng mga minorya sa ating bansa sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Pang. Duterte," Cullamat said.

"Sa mahabang panahon, dinaranas ng mga katutubo ang pambansang opresyon. Pinalala ito ng Duterte administration. Sa kabila ng pangakong pagbabago, mas lumaganap ang pandarambong sa mga likas-yaman na nasa mga katutubong lupain, kasabay ng pinaigting na paglabag sa aming mga katutubong karapatan," Cullamat added.