Ilocos Norte Representative and Nacionalista Party (NP) senatorial candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., on Friday said that the government should consider reverting to English as the primary medium of instruction in all schools in the Philippines.
In a press conference in Dumaguete City on April 23, 2010; Marcos underscored the importance of maintaining the country's competitiveness in the international job market by vigorously increasing English proficiency in all of the country’s educational institutions.
"Filipinos in the past enjoy an advantage over other workers since we used to have a high proficiency in English. Sadly it is not the case anymore because our Asian neighbors are catching up with us now,” Bongbong said.
Marcos noted that English has always been the dominant language used in international trade. He added that more than fifty percent of transactions over the internet are now being done in English, with employment or online job websites also evolving in the past years.
"Not being able to communicate well in English puts our workers at a disadvantage. Employment opportunities become also scarce for people with this handicap," Marcos added.
A recent study conducted by Universal Access to Competitiveness and Trade (UACT), the think-tank arm of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) showed that only six to ten percent of applicants for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) jobs get hired. The main reason is that majority of them lack the required English proficiency level for the job.
The congressman from the north also expressed his disapproval concerning the proposal to add two more years of schooling for the tertiary level of education in the Philippines.
"We should target quality and not quantity. The additional years of schooling will only burden poor families who are struggling to send their kids to school," Marcos said.
The Ilocano congressman kicked-off his electrifying Negros Island campaign on Wednesday by touring Negros Occidental and concluded his sortie on Friday by visiting Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental. The dynamic city is also considered as the “Motorcycle Capital of the Philippines” due to its high rate of motorcycle ownership.
Negros Oriental's main industry is agriculture due its vast fertile land resources. Its principal crops are sugarcane, corn, coconut and rice. Fishing is the main source of income along the coastal areas of the province. Negros Oriental is also fast emerging as a technological center in Central Philippines due to its growing business process outsourcing (BPO) and other technology-related industries. It is also a prominent tourist destination in the Visayas and in the whole country as well.