CITY OF MALOLOS – More than 5,000 scholars under the “Tulong Pang-edukasyon para sa Kabataang Bulakenyo” program of the Provincial Government of Bulacan attended the annual scholars’ general assembly held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in this city yesterday.
Here, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the guest of honor, mentioned some known leaders whom he said have one thing in common, an education.
“Personal po akong naniniwala na ang edukasyon ang pinakamatibay na paraan para labanan ang kahirapan, isa sa pinakamahalagang bahagi sa sistema ng ating edukasyon ang pag-aaral sa kolehiyo. Hindi po lahat ng mga bata ay nabibigyan ng pagkakataon mag-aral sa kolehiyo dahil sa kahirapan at sa kakulangan ng pondo,” the senator said.
Gatchalian also shared statistics wherein in every 100 Filipinos that enter elementary, only 64 of them graduated, 44 of them reached high school while only 26 graduated in college, which is equivalent to two out of 10 or 20 percent.
“According to the 2012 Philippine Poverty Profile, 68.8 percent of the Filipinos belong to those who have no education to elementary graduates, kaya naman ipinaglalaban namin sa senado at kongreso ang House Bill 5905 or the Free Higher Education Act,” Gatchalian said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the annual assembly aims to have an interaction with the youth scholars and reiterate to them their important roles in helping the economy and addressing poverty just by making themselves better citizens of the nation.
Gatchalian, Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando led the distribution of scholarship certificates to students who are pursuing four-year or five-year courses wherein they are given financial assistance that is divided into two categories: the Academic Scholar that gives P5,000 and Educational Assistance (Indigency Program) that aids P3,000.
Ana Marie Manabat, a scholar from Bulacan Agricultural State College, expressed her gratitude.
“Being a PGB scholar means a lot to us, dahil dito, naging posible ‘yung noon akala naming imposible kasi nga walang pampaaral at ngayong araw marami po akong natutunan lalo na ‘yung tungkol sa Free Higher Education na kung matutuloy napakagandang opportunity sa mga kabataan na gustong mag-aral,” Manabat said.
The governor also explained the seven point agenda of his administration, giving emphasis to peace and security as vital elements for the protection of the youth and development of the province.
“Sinusuportahan po natin ang programa ng ating pangulo lalo’t higit sa peace and order sapagkat ang mga kabataan ang siyang pinangangalagaan nito ang siyang pag-asa ng ating bayan. We would like to create an environment conducive for business to flourish and sustain our development and not conducive for criminals to flourish here in the province of Bulacan,” Alvarado said.