On International Youth Day, August 12: What else could President Aquino say so?

His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines (File Photo credit: blogspot.com)

August 12 is International Youth Day. Filipino youth will be expecting President Aquino to deliver a speech on account of this celebration. But what else could he say so despite alleged (?) surging problems of education and employment in his administration?

In President Aquino’s speech on August 12, 2011, he emphasized ongoing developments Filipino youth must be looking into his administration:

1. That, the Department of Education has been exploring ways to widen access to education and making it at par with global standards.

Now, according to the National Union of Students in the Philippines,

Based on NUSP Tuition Monitor, the national average tuition rate has gone up to 108.35% since 2001. From the average of P257.41 per unit in A.Y. 2001-2002, the average tuition rate almost doubled to P536.31 for A.Y. 2011-2012. On the other hand, in the National Capital Region, wherein most schools are located, the average tuition rate increased by 102%, from P439.59 to 1,078.60 in 2011.

Before the 2012 classes started, Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) had announced that 222 higher education institutions had been approved to increase tuition in 2012-2013 school year.

Kabataan Partylist Secretary General Vencer Crisostomo said that

With this new wave of tuition hikes, it is not unlikely that more students will be forced to stop schooling due to financial constraints.  Coupled with the worsening economic crisis and widening joblessness in the country, tuition hikes definitely translate to more out-of-school youth.

However, the 2011 and 2012 QS World University Rankings showed that none of the Philippine universities made it to the top 300.

Then, what else could President Aquino say so on his August 12, 2012 speech in celebrating International Youth Day?

2. That, the Department of Education has set to begin implementing the K + 12 program that will add two more years to the basic curriculum.

Now that it has been implemented, history will prove it right or wrong.

3.  That, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has been implementing the PhP700 million for scholarship program designed to supply skills and competencies needed by the prevailing competency in the economy.

4. That, the Department of Labor has been initiating an online portal for jobs and skills matching, the Phil-JobNet.

In his 2012 State of the Nation Address or SONA, President Aquino reported a  decline of unemployment problem in the country. However,  according to Ibon, a non-stock non-profit development organization,

The speech reported creating millions of jobs and declining unemployment rates in the last two years but neglected to mention that the quality of jobs has drastically worsened. Some 2.4 million jobs were created between April 2010 and April 2012 or an average of just 1.2 million jobs per year (the much higher 3.1 million jobs reported in the SONA is erroneously computed aside from wrongly comparing July 2010 and April 2012 oblivious to the seasonal character of the labor market).

Now, what else could President Aquino say so on his next speech?

President Aquino ended his speech by reassuring the Filipino people, especially the youth sector that according to him in his speech,

Rest assured, I will follow through on my own commitments as well, so that my generation can bequeath to our young citizens a Philippines whose progress they can build upon. We do our work in different environments and different settings, and carry different responsibilities on our shoulders. But rebuilding our country, after all, is a team effort. Together, as one team, let us do what we can to our individual capacities to bring our beloved country back to its rightful place in the sun.

And in closing, may I just stress: We are confident that when the time comes that you will pass on the mantle of responsibilities to the next generation, you will undoubtedly even build upon the successes we are now achieving.

End of story. What else could President Aquino say so on education and employment problems in the country? That would be another surprise the Philippine youth sector will be ending up hopeful or desperate. . . .

P.S.  Youth, according to the United Nations, defines as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. August 12 was declared International Youth Day through the United Nations 1999 adoption of resolution 54/120.


  1. Speech of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III,President of the Philippines Celebrating International Youth Day 2011: “KA JAM” (Kabataan Jobs and Alternatives to Migration), Official Gazette
  2. National Union of Students in the Philippines
  3. Kabataan Party
  4. Ibon.org
  5. QS TopUniversities

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