The Manila Times - In higher office, Marcos to target three priorities

News & Interviews
30 September 2015

By Jefferson Antiporda | The Manila Times

maniila timesSenator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will be giving more priority to education, agriculture and infrastructure if he is given a chance to lead the country next year.

Marcos, who is yet to announce his political plans in 2016, said the reason why the country is facing many problems is that the government has failed to introduce programs and projects for improving the country’s educational system, agriculture and infrastructure.

To improve education, he added, the government must also invest more in teachers, not only by giving them higher pay but also retraining courses.

While construction of additional school building and distribution of books and school supplies are also priorities, Marcos said, the government must also make sure the teachers are provided with needed support that would improve their grasp of what they are imparting to their students.

“We must understand that teaching is not a job, it not a profession, teaching is a vocation, teachers teach because they are true to their calling,” the senator told students of the Universidad de Manila on Wednesday.

He noted that “[t]here was a time when the Philippines has the highest literacy rate in all of Asia, 98 percent. Obviously we can see that it has gone down drastically.”

Agriculture, Marcos said, has been neglected by the government for the past five years and the next leadership will need to work hard in order to help the sector recover.

He added that the government did nothing to improve the state of the agricultural sector of the country, a top rice exporter in the past but now a top importer of rice.

Marcos also noted that the Philippines now has fewer irrigated areas than it had in 1996, meaning the past administrations, he said, not only did not expand irrigated areas in the country but also failed to even maintain existing ones.