Letter to the Editor
Education Department Secretary Jesli Lapus seems to be hallucinating for blaming the country’s population as the one causing the shortage of classrooms in the country. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her minions are beginning to sound alike.
First it was the Palace Queen who put the blame on the citizen’s luxuries and ordered a control on using short message sending or texts and cigarette smoking to avoid experiencing hunger.
Now, one of her minions in the guise of Secretary Lapus presented to us a very (il)logical reason why the country insufficient number of classrooms. Let’s start with facts. The government, according to a UNESCO study, should be spending 6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for education. But the government measly appropriates 3%.
The Department of Education admitted that 45,775 classrooms are lacking (assuming a ratio of 45 students to one classroom). But according to the President, the budget is now ready to provide 14,000 classrooms this year. Will that answer the lack of classrooms?
No. A bulk of 31, 775 would still be needed. And besides, Lapus said “every minute, four babies are born.
It’s like every 10 minutes, I’m short one classroom.” Now, Lapus is blaming the high birth rate as the cause of classrooms scarcity. Why? It’s simple. Because he, along with other lapdogs of the palace, has been tasked to cover their boss’ incapacity and lack of sincerity to save this country.
Lack of classroom did not stem from overpopulation. It started when the state began misallocating the national budget, which could have answered the needs of basic social services like education, in order to religiously succumb to World Bank and other “generous” foreign lending imperialists.
Apparently this government has no balls yet to repeal former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’ Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1177 which provides for automatic appropriations of tax revenues for debt service, and former Pres. Corazon Aquino’s Executive Order (EO) 292, which instituted Section 26 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 providing automatic appropriation of principal and interest on public debt.
If the government is sincere in addressing the education crisis it could have done so by not overfeeding the pork barrel of the administration-led House of Representatives.
It could have done so by not making it appear that the budget for State Universities and Colleges are P34 billion short compared to the budget of the Department of National Defense.
It could have done so by assuming political will to impose a cap on debt servicing and start prioritizing the people’s welfare. Unfortunately they need more money for their political survival.
Mr. Lapus should start thinking about it.
KARLA HYASMIND APAT
Vice President for Mindanao