Senator-elect Win Gatchalian of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to make education reform a top priority of his administration as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) formally proclaimed the 12 winning senators, with the NPC bet landing in 10th place.
“I humbly accept the mandate bestowed upon me by the Filipino people. It is truly an honor to be selected by the electorate to serve in the Senate,” said Gatchalian, who garnered over 14.9 million votes catapulting him to the winning circle of senatorial candidates.
Gatchalian, the incumbent congressman of Valenzuela City’s first district and a former three-term mayor, said President Duterte’s mission to eradicate poverty and lead the country to a higher economic growth could be accomplished by taking ambitious steps to revamp the country’s public education system.
“We are ready to work with the Duterte administration to pass legislation which will significantly expand access to quality education at all levels,” said Gatchalian.
Specifically, Gatchalian vowed to file in the Senate an updated version of the “Free Higher Education Act,” which will fully subsidize tuition fees in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) for all current and future enrollees provided they maintain good academic standing. The measure had already been approved at the House committee level as House Bill No. 5905.
“I ran for the Senate on a platform centered around providing tuition-free college education to all deserving Filipinos. I plan on keeping my promise to the youth of this nation,” said Gatchalian.
The NPC senator is also one of the authors of the recently signed “Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Act” (Republic Act 10801), which would protect the contribution of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from misuse by concerned government agencies. (Monica Cantilero)