08 June 2015

Palace welcomes report on significant drop in number of out-of-school children
The Palace on Monday welcomed a report on the dramatic decline in the number of out-of-school children in the country from 11.7 percent in 2008 to 5.2 percent in 2012.

“We are glad that attention is being given to this encouraging report, as it highlights the dividends of the government’s investment in the Filipino people,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

The report, based on research conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), showed that the rate of out-of-school children to the total number of children between the ages of 5 and 15, was reduced to 5.2 percent in 2012 from 11.7 percent in 2008.

The report attributed the significant decrease in the number of out-of-school children to the passage and implementation of mandatory kindergarten and the K to12 Law; the increasing budget the Department of Education has obtained from the national government; and the expansion of the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which requires families to send their children to school.

According to the report, national funding commitments to education have increased by more than 15 percent annually since 2010.

“As a share of the national budget, education expenditures grew from 12 percent in 2009 to 14 percent in 2015, in view of the expanding Philippine economy,” it said.

It stated that the government’s decision to increase the Department of Education’s budget, coupled with the investments in the CCT, is “clearly paying off with growing evidence of considerably improved participation of children in primary education.”

The report stated that these human resource investments should continue, so that “no one, whether poor or non-poor, male or female, is left behind in education attainments as the country pursues a path of growth, prosperity, and development.”

The results of the research were reported in the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children Philippine Country Study published by the UNICEF, and presented by the PIDS and the UNICEF in a recent seminar. PND (ag)

President Aquino receives credentials of new Resident, Non-Resident Ambassadors
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday received the credentials of several Resident and Non-Resident Ambassadors to the Philippines in separate ceremonies held in Malacañang Palace.

The President received the Resident Ambassadors at Malacañang’s Music Room. They were Nikolaos Kaymenakis of the Hellenic Republic of Greece; Kok Li Peng of the Republic of Singapore; Igor Anatolievich Khovaev of the Russian Republic; and Kim Jae-Shin of the Republic of Korea.

They were all given arrival honors at the Palace grounds.

The President meanwhile received the Non-Resident Ambassadors at the Rizal Hall. They were Mourad Belhassen of the Republic of Tunisia; Mun Song Mo of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Felix Denegri Boza of the Federal Democratic Republic of Peru; Evgueni Stoytchev of the Republic of Bulgaria;

Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla, Republic of Colombia; Anwar Al-Agha, State of Palestine; Chandradath Singh of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Benjamin Clement Eghan of Ghana; Beatrice Kirsch of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; and Zurab Aleksidze of Georgia.

All of them received foyer honors.

During the ceremony, the President was assisted by Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Laura del Rosario, Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol Evelyn Austria Garcia, and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.

In his speech following the presentation of credentials, President Aquino enjoined all nations to work together to address the threat of pandemic, as well as risks brought about by global climate change and terrorism.

“It is incumbent for all of us to synchronize our efforts and work harder to build more inclusive and more resilient communities. It is by doing so that we can pass to those younger than us a more harmonious, more progressive world, one in which no one is left behind,” said the President. PND (ag)