Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian has never backed down from any senatorial debate
and forum as he continues to accept the challenge of answering and educating the public on his
senatorial platform and agenda, particularly on education.
The senatorial aspirant from Valenzuela City has remained univocal in his advocacy to push for free
and quality college education in the Philippines to help around P 5 million children who do not have
access to tertiary education.
“Siyam na taon ko pong pinaglaban (bilang alkalde) sa Valenzuela [City] na mabigyan po ng
dekalidad na edukasyon ang ating kabataan at ‘yan po ang patuloy kong ipaglalaban sa senado,”
Gatchalian said during the Rappler’s second #TheLeaderIWant senatorial debate last Apr. 15.
“Hindi natin sila pwedeng iwanan. Dapat bigyan natin sila ng fighting chance sa buhay para
mabigyan ng pagkakataon maiangat ang kanilang pamilya sa kahirapan,” he added.
Gatchalian also has always made an effort to explain how the government can make the tuition in
state universities and colleges (SUCs) completely free.
During the same debate, he mentioned that the government only needs an additional funding of P15
billion on SUCs to make it possible. Fifteen billion pesos is only 0.5 percent of the approved 2016
“It is feasible. Right now, tuition (on SUCs) are 80 percent subsidize. I’m only proposing to subsidize
or take up the 20 percent that is left to make tuition in those public colleges completely free,” he
More competitive graduates
In pushing for laws and programs to give more access to higher education, Gatchalian thinks that
such advocacy will give college students from poor families a fighting chance in life.
“Kung tatanungin natin ang 5 milyong bata na ito kung bakit hindi sila nag-aaral, karamihan sa kanila
magsasabi na dahil ito sa kahirapan ng buhay,” Gatchalian said during the PH Bayani Boto
Senatorial Forum hosted by Adamson University Manila.
He always points out in any debate that pushing for better access to higher education will heighten
the competitiveness of the Filipino workers and ultimately benefit the Philippine economy.
Improving governance and encouraging more jobs
Aside from pushing for free higher education, the former 9-year mayor of Valenzuela City is keen on
pushing for platforms that will empower the local government which will encourage more job and
As an example, during the Kailangan ng Boses Senatorial Debate of Ateneo De Manila University on
Mar. 14, Gatchalian said officials in city and municipal halls should be given more power in handling
labor issues within their jurisdiction.
“Pwede po natin palakasin pagdating po sa pagmo-monitor ng mga labor practices ang mga local
government unit (LGU) sa isang lugar. Dahil ngayon, hindi kasama sa desolve function ang labor
ang binibigay sa mga LGU,” Gathalian suggested.
His argument takes root in his accomplishments in Valenzuela City where he served as mayor for
nine years and implemented reforms to aid local workers.
“Kaya kami sa Valenzuela City nagtayo kami ng Worker’s Affairs Office para makipag-coordinate sa
Department of Labor and Employment Labor (DOLE) at isang tri-partite industrial peace council para
pagusapan ang reklamo ng mga mangagawa,” he said.
During his term as mayor, Gatchalian was able encourage more jobs by making it easier for
companies to start their businesses.
He was able to help at least 146,184 local residents to get a job by instituting the Public Employment
Services Office (PESO) Online or the country’s first LGU-initiated online job-matching initiative.
Gatchalian was able to automate transaction in public offices and got rid of the fixers through his
Simple, Speed and Service Excellence (3S) program, which was his primary anti-corruption platform.