Bistek urges incentives for pandemic-hit private schools

April 19, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 211 views

UNITEAM senatorial candidate Herbert “Bistek” Bautista has proposed the grant of aid and incentives to private schools that were forced to close at the height of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

“They’re supposedly tax-free because they’re an educational institution but what else can we do for them so they can operate again?” said Bautista, who is running on a platform of “Internet reform, Livelihood for all and Youth development (ILY)”, and “Pagkain para sa Pamilyang Pilipino”.

“Let’s provide incentives to private schools that closed,” said Bautista.

“Their situation is pitiful,” he lamented. “They help us in the education sector so we should teach private school owners what we can do to help them,” Bautista said.

“Hopefully, if I become senator, those two things that I mentioned can be done for them,” Bautista said.

In an earlier statement, Bautista, a three-term mayor of Quezon City, pressed for an inventory of public school classrooms nationwide to determine how many more classrooms should be built and how many more teachers should be hired.

In an interview on radio station dzJO Baler recently, Bautista said classrooms are crucial in advancing education in the Philippines and giving the youth a better future.

“There should be quality education for our youth, our children, our grandchildren,” said Bautista.

He said the Department of Education (DepEd) consistently submits requirements for classrooms but these are mostly unfunded.

“We have a shortfall in classrooms, especially in areas hit by typhoons,” said Bautista.

He cited the case of public schools in areas hit by Super Typhoon “Odette” recently, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in 2021.

“Most schools in the Visayas and Northern Mindanao have been hit by Odette and many were damaged,” said Bautista.

“So we need to focus on this,” he said. “There’s already a shortage of classrooms then existing ones were destroyed so the classroom shortage is getting bigger,” Bautista said.

He said while President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program was able to build classrooms, these were still not enough.

“So if I become senator, we will focus on that,” he said. “We will take a close look at how many classrooms we really need,” Bautista added.