Press Release
August 17, 2016


If the Philippines cannot beat Asia's military superpowers, Senator Richard J. Gordon is proposing that we should instead become Asia's intellectual superpower.

Gordon noted that the country should focus instead on improving the education system, first by giving higher salaries to teachers, to encourage them to continuously update their knowledge and skills and thus teach better and produce bright students with the right values.

"If we can't beat the military superpowers in Asia, we should become the intellectual superpower of Asia instead. And we can do this by making sure that we have the best teachers who will produce the best students with the right values," he said.

The senator pointed out that the Constitution provides that the government should allocate the highest budgetary priority to education. Article XIV, Section 5 (5) states that "The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment."

"Compare the salaries of our teachers here to that of teachers in countries like Singapore, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and China. Our teachers come way down in the list. Teachers in these countries are given a lot of importance which is shown by the pay they get. When teachers are paid well, they will be the best teachers. Don't you want your children to be the best students because they have the best teachers?" he said.

Gordon stressed that the said countries have higher shares of foreign direct investments and higher gross domestic product as a result of their good education systems.

"Haven't you noticed how far behind Singapore, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and China left us? We used to have the highest literacy rate in Asia. Look at Korea now, they can even build their own fighter planes, cellphones, and others. If we have the best teachers, our children will also become more productive and more competitive - even sons and daughters of janitors, kasambahays and others," he said.

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