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Reaction to President Duterte’s last SONA

Senator Win Gatchalian commended the Duterte administration’s economic recovery plans to revitalize the country’s economy and generate jobs in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Gatchalian was hoping the President would tackle the education crisis that started even before the pandemic.


MABALCAT, PAMPANGA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte visits the newly constructed passenger terminal building at the Clark International Airport for an inspection tour, 18 July 2021. Reacting to Duterte’s address, Senator Win Gatchalian echoed the President in his renewed call for Congress to pass priority measures such as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, which the senator himself has been pushing. Photo by Mark Cayabyb/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs echoed the President in his renewed call for Congress to pass priority measures such as the Foreign Investments Act, Public Services Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act which the senator himself has been pushing.

Gatchalian cited the creation of the National Employment Recovery Strategy which aims to generate more jobs and ensure the upscaling of workers and increasing their employability and the benefit of the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso program of the administration to assist struggling small entrepreneurs.

Just like the President, Gatchalian has been seeking to cut red tape and streamline government processes when he filed “Full Digital Transformation Act of 2020” which aims to provide full, integrated E-Government (eGov) services to the public by the end of 2022.

“With just a year left in office, there’s still a load of work that needs to be accomplished and with perseverance and strong resolve to get back to our feet and bring back a semblance of normalcy in our lives, I believe it can be realized,” Gatchalian said.

While he is one with the President in lauding the enactment into law of the senator’s own landmark bill – the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education or the Free Tuition Law, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture also pressed the need to address what he calls the “crisis” in the basic education sector which is rooted from the struggle of learners to master basic competencies and their poor performance in international large-scale assessments.

He added that he will file other bills to support learning recovery and the strengthening of the basic education sector. To address the learning losses resulting from a year of school closures, Gatchalian plans to file a bill that would put a “catch-up” plan in place.

“Sa nalalabing mga buwan ng kasalukuyang administrasyon, tututukan natin ang muling pagbangon at pagpapatatag sa sektor ng edukasyon matapos ang pinsalang dulot ng pandemya. Titiyakin nating makakapagpasa tayo ng mga angkop na batas upang maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon, gawing mas ligtas ang ating mga paaralan, at maging handa ang ating kabataan na tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng bansa,” said Gatchalian.