Development and the Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships in Philippine Education

[Delivered at the Philippine Education Conference, SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Dec. 2, 2015]

 

The topic assigned to me for this afternoon is “Development and the Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Philippine Education.”

My aim is not simply to review impressive examples of PPPs that have resulted from RA 7718 of 1994 or “An Act Authorizing the Financing, Construction, Operation and Maintenance or Infrastructure Projects by the Private Sector” amending the earlier RA 6957 of 1990. These PPP projects have undoubtedly contributed significantly to the implementation of K-12 and the delivery of education in the Philippines. My aim is broader. From within this august gathering of educators and national policy makers, my intention is rather to generate talking points on development itself in the Philippines, the crucial and critical importance of education (quality and academically-free education) in that development, the constitutionally manifest role of the State in providing that education, the relationship of public education to private education, the opportunity for more PPPs on the project level in educational delivery, but more fundamentally, (not the opportunity but) the imperative for a functioning and authentic (not grudging, opportunistic, bullying) public-private partnership in Philippine education.

I will argue that quality, academically-free and critical education does not impact enough on development. I will also argue that much more must be done to achieve genuine public private partnership in Philippine education.

 

Development

“Development” normally refers to economic development. The economy is the “entire network of producers, distributors, and consumers of goods and services in a local, regional or national community” that function in response to human need(s). Economic development usually refers to the adoption of new technologies, the transition from an agriculture-based to industry-based economy, and general improvement in living standards. “Human needs” are many. Some basic: food, clothing, and shelter; others developed in the satisfaction of basic needs: livelihood, education, communications, transportation, arts, history, good governance, and religion. The “improvement of living standards” refers normally to the improvement in the material base of human living: greater access to large varieties of quality foods (civet coffee, TWG tea, Kobe beef, sea bass, and Bordeaux wine available in select supermarkets in the Philippines), greater availability of fashionable clothing in the Philippines (clothing by Burberry, Dior, Luis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani, Prada, Gucci, Dolce and Gabanna, Tiffany and the like, available in our better malls), greater choice and variety of shelter (studios, apartments, mansions, high-rise condominiums, offered by our seasoned real estate developers). Here, economic development is largely contingent on ongoing and increasing material consumption. And enjoyment.

The economy and economic development are presumably at the service of human society and human development. But the uncritical participation in the pursuit of development goals fuelled inevitably by increasing consumption appears to produce outcomes that belie an improvement in human living standards and responsiveness to human need. The traffic situation in Metro Manila illustrates the unhappy predicament. Sanguine development activity in real estate increases the number of dwellers in Metro Manila; their use of cars, sports utility vehicles, vans and coasters overwhelm the capacity of Metro Manila’s roads to accommodate their vehicles, even as they must also be used by jeepneys, busses, delivery trucks, ambulances, motorcycles, tricycles, bicycles and motorbikes.   So, traffic stalls, crawls and appalls in Metro Manila. The rationality of transportation has become irrational, stressful, a major national contributor to carbon emissions, and a cause for increased demand on adult diapers.

But this is only symptomatic of the fundamental disorder in the consumption-based economy. To satisfy the voracious appetites of the economy’s production machines, economic development “necessitates” the destruction of the forests that injures the freshwater supply, the mono-cropping that injures biodiversity, the small- and large-scale mining that displaces indigenous peoples and threatens food security, the over-use of fossil fuels that causes increased carbon emissions, the intensified greenhouse gas effect that causes global warming. We are now close to the 2% threshold in global warming that would be catastrophic for our planet. Meanwhile, the unbridled consumption of the privileged that is devastating for the environment causes the exclusion, marginalization, violence and war (e.g. ISIS’ waging of “piecemeal World War III”) that threatens not only human life but human civilization and the planet itself. This includes the human trafficking, the drug use, the gun-running that belongs to an underground economy that supports the alienation, desperation, rebellion and violence of the marginalized.

“Development” is a mantra whose beneficial effects for the human family or for the Filipino People is taken for granted; the economic argument trumps all other arguments, including, unfortunately, ethical arguments (as in the displacement of indigenous peoples [IPs] from their ancestral domains) or environmental arguments (as in open-pit mining that threatens the freshwater supply of Mindanao). But the global experience of such development and of the cultures that support it argue that “development” is a very mixed bag. We must ask where the economy is taking us, on what basis it is developing, and whose interests are most served in its unfolding. For, as Pope Francis warns, the consumption-based economy is taking us inexorably towards greater alienation from one another, from our God and our common home – unless we do something to reverse the trajectory. In this light, the imperatives of ‘the economy” may no longer be considered unconditionally compelling.   It is compelling rather to be able to criticize “development.” On the altar of economic development, human culture is not to be sacrificed.

 

Education

Fundamentally, education is about human learning normally facilitated by others (teachers, tutors, experts, other learners, learning institutions, schools, universities). Education is about the human being learning the truth about him- or herself, the truth of the (contingent) world (nature, the environment), the truth of the Absolute, God. Education is formative not only of the human mind but also of human freedom.

Basic education transmits basic truths and skills to learners; it communicates fundamentals about survival in our world with one another. Higher education is the unrelenting search for truth in academic freedom. In this context, relative to basic education, it transmits higher, specialized truth or learning.

While education contributes to economic development by preparing the educated to play productive or managerial roles in the economy (in “jobs” or the management of jobs), the function of education is not exhausted by these roles. The truth about the human person can occasion a critique of the economic system that the human person creates. For example, the educated human person can critique the human alienation caused by the economic exclusion of the urban poor from housing. It can critique the adverse effects on human society of pollution caused by coal-fired power plants.

The match between educational outputs and jobs can be a partial measure of the responsiveness of a local educational system to the economy, since preparation for jobs might be considered one among many goals of higher education.

But the so-called mismatch between educational outputs and jobs is not an adequate measure of the quality of an education system. The finality of educational learning is not just jobs, but the human person and human society. Prior to the concerns of a particular economy, education is about the dignity of the human person, his or her human rights and duties in humane society, and the social justice that leads to the common good. The common good is where each person and all persons in society can in their humanity flourish optimally at any given time in history.

Education prepares people through basic and professional education for participation in an economy. More importantly, on the higher education level, it serves as a source of evaluation and critique of the economic system – or for that matter the political, cultural and religious systems – based on the reflective norms of humanity and human society understanding the truth of itself and reality.

In this context it is helpful – and refreshing – to look at the provisions in the Constitution concerning education.

Some general constitutional determinations:

First, in the Preamble, it is good to appreciate the commitment of the Filipino People through the Constitution to a “just and humane society”, to “the common good,” to the conservation and development of the Philippine patrimony, to “democracy under the rule of law, to freedom, love, equality and peace.”

Under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies (Article II), it is stated:

“The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all” (Sec. 9). “The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development” (Sec 10). “The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights” (Sec. 11).

These commitments and values can be considered content imperatives or finalities of education. Making Philippine education subservient to “jobs” under an economy that violates social justice or offends against a just and dynamic social order or locks the people in poverty or disrespects human rights can be considered a violation of the soul of Philippine education under this constitution.

On the other hand, the principles and values of this Constitution must be reincarnated in all laws and policies pertinent to education that emerge from this Constitution.

 

The Role of the State in Providing Philippine Education

It is important to appreciate the role the State must play in providing national education not only because of its eventual bearing on the necessity of PPPs, but especially because of its responsibility to provide education consistent with the Preamble and the Constitutions principles and state policies.

Article XIV on Education, Science, Technology, Arts, Culture and Sports defines the role of the State in providing education. It vests clear responsibility for education in the State:

First, “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all” (sec 1). If this is not just empty verbiage, the citizens’ universal right to education must be recognized by policymakers. It is for education at all levels, not just basic education. It is to be accessible to all, not just available for the rich.

Second, “The State shall: Establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” (par 1, sec 2). The Constitution clearly mandates the state to provide all its citizens quality (a complete, adequate, and integrated system of) education that is relevant to human needs in society. These are not just basic needs, but human cultural needs. They are met not just by sporadic educational interventions, but by a “complete, adequate and integrated system” of education.

Third, “The State shall: Establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children, elementary education is compulsory for all children of school age” (par 2, sec. 2) It is the responsibility of the state to provide free and compulsory public education in the elementary and the high school levels. Today, this includes not only junior but also senior high school. The mandate to the State to provide “a complete, adequate and integrated system of education” clearly does not mean it must provide free education beyond junior and senior high school. It is however mandated “to take appropriate steps” to provide accessible higher education to all. Appropriate steps may involve the private sector.

Fourth, part of making higher education accessible is by a system of scholarship grants and educational financing for public and private schools. “The State shall: Establish and maintain a system of scholarship grants, student loan programs, subsidies, and other incentives which shall be available to deserving students in both public and private schools, especially to the underprivileged” (par 3, sec 2).

Fifth, the State is mandated also to provide non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning (par 4, sec 2), and to provide appropriate training for adults, the disabled and out-of-school youth (par 5, sec. 2).

The constitutional duty of the State to provide quality education for all is clear. This provision however is through free public education for all on the basic educational level, and though accessible education on the higher educational level for all who desire it. Accessible means not only geographically reachable, but financially affordable. For the rural poor, education is not accessible if it is available only in the big cities; it is not accessible if it is impossible to avail of it through affordable payments, scholarships, loans, working-student schemes and the like.

Where the task for the State might be overwhelming, partnership with the private sector may be helpful, if not imperative.

 

Responsibility Shared with the Private Sector

While the Constitution places responsibility for educational provision in the State, it recognizes that the State does not accomplish this alone, but with the private sector. Where the State may be overwhelmed by the task entrusted to it of providing quality education for all, the Constitution points to the private sector as a required partner. “The State recognizes the complementary roles of public and private institutions in the educational system and shall exercise reasonable supervision and regulation of all educational institutions” (par 1, sec 4, art XIV). Private sector participation in education is not merely an option but a matter of state policy in recognition of the crucial role the private sector and private investment play in national development: “The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments” (sec 20, art II). This is also true in education. The role of the private sector is “indispensable.” While we may appreciate various PPPs on the project level for their varying contributions to overall educational provision in the Philippines, the fundamental partnership between the public and private sectors in education (emphatically, public-private partnership “PPP”) is based on the constitutionally-recognized complementarity between public and private institutions in the integrated educational system the State must provide.

In other words, while the role of providing a system of education accessible to all in other countries (like Germany) is entrusted wholly to the State, and while this role in the Philippines could have been wholly entrusted to the State, in the Philippines as a matter of state policy, because of the indispensible role the private sector plays in development, educational provision is shared between the public and private sectors both as a matter of historical fact and as a matter of state policy and educational principle. There are complementary roles in education to be played between the State and the private sector. This complementariness itself is the fundamental public private partnership (PPP) between the State and the private sector in education. It must be nourished and promoted pro-actively and insightfully, not merely suffered begrudgingly.

This PPP is implemented today in many PPPs made possible through RA 7718 of 1994 amending RA 6857 of 1990. In this law, priority projects initiated by government (solicited) or projects initiated by the private sector (unsolicited) can take a rich variety of modes (Build-operate-transfer, Build-transfer, Build-own-operate, etc) to support “infrastructure or development projects normally funded by the public sector.”   It is also supported by RA 8545 of 1998 amending RA 6728 of 1989 or the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) law.

For the State and the private sector, such PPPs are mutually advantageous or complementary: the duty of the state to provide quality education for all is carried out through the contracted expertise, efficiency, and financial resource of the private sector in such as educational infrastructure development and in actual educational services; the private sector is formally engaged and reasonably remunerated for engagement of its resources, expertise and creativity in the partnership. The remarkable classroom building achievement under the Aquino administration through Br. Armin Luistro was largely through PPPs.[1]   The large scale congestion in public schools was eased significantly through the State’s contracting of educational services from the private sector (ESC). This was not only an efficient way of educational provision, it was a way of using private-sector resources against modest remuneration in this provision that was advantageous to the private sector.[2] As senior high school commences universally next academic school year (SY 2016-18), universal public school provision is enabled through the engagement of the private sector to some 40% of this provision through the voucher system. At the same time, the unused resources of private basic education schools, or the resources of private colleges deprived of enrollment in the coming years through the K-12 reform are utilized.[3] In this creative public-private partnership scheme, the value of the voucher is based on the replacement cost of public provision in a particular area and the firm resolution to continue engaging the private sector in this provision in the years to come.

In the spirit of PPP, there have been other creative PPPs. The Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) and the DepED partnered in research to make a coordinated implementation of SHS between public and private schools in Region XI possible. Australia in partnership with the private sector group, Philippine Business for Education (PBED) and the PHINMA Foundation, is supporting scholarships at Philippine Normal University to output graduates who will join the ranks of public school teachers. Where educational delivery in Muslim Mindanao is lowest in the country, DepEd is giving allowances to private teachers of the National Bangsamoro Educational Association who are teaching DepEd-mandated courses in madaris (Islamic schools). The private Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and the Private Educational Association Committee (PEAC) are supporting volunteers who teach DepED-mandated courses in Islamic schools (madaris) of Maguindanao and Cotabato. The private Ateneo de Davao University and the DepEd have partnered in providing the TBoli Community of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, with a culturally-sensitive TBoli Senior High School, now a template for similar schools, public or private, for our indigenous peoples.

There are many other PPPs that are possible. Among these are the interventions that Br. Armin has suggested recently to the private schools to help public schools.[4]

 

Shortcomings in educational delivery

Even as the advantages of a harmonious public private partnership in education are celebrated, discordance in the relationship needs also to be recognized. Here, the context is the responsibility of the state to provide a “complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” (par 1, sec 2, art XIV). Here, there is room for rich discussion on the meanings of each of the words in this constitutional provision, a discussion which in the Philippines is sadly outstanding. In a provocative way, “complete” would not mean merely basic or merely conceptual education, “adequate” would not mean education just for jobs or just for the wealthy, “integrated” would not mean internally discordant or disconnected, “system” would not mean disjoined, unrelated component parts. Complete education would include learning for knowledge and ethical formation for freedom. Adequate education would include professional training for meaningful contribution to society and formation in perceiving, respecting and obeying demands of the common good.   Integrated education would include humanistic education and vocational/technical training, the ability to think systematically and pragmatically, to lead, to create, to innovate, to act, to serve. Systematic education would include the smooth flow from elementary to secondary to tertiary education, but also the ability to instruct truth, to search freely for truth, the serve society in truth.

But the phrase might also point to the manner in which education is delivered, the manner in which the providing sectors, public and private, relate to one another, whether for the delivery of a complete, adequate and integrated system of education they themselves act systematically for a complete, adequate and integrated delivery of education to the Philippine people. This is certainly what the Constitution suggests ought to be the case when it recognizes the complementarity between the public and private sectors in the delivery of education.

 

Some areas of discord

It is well known that in improving the compensation of the public school teachers to a starting salary of Php18,000 monthly, recently improved, I understand, to Php 20,000, it attracted many new teachers, many of whom came from private schools. The measure to improve the public sector delivery was welcome, but unfortunately at the expense of private school delivery. Since most private schools are not in a position to improve its salaries beyond some Php 10,000 monthly because of the poverty of its students, the output of private schools was harmed.

While the State does well to try to increase access to education through the increase in the number and/or quality of the state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local colleges and universities (LCUs), it does so often at the cost of the enrollment of the private universities. The State has often stated that its SUCs and LCUs do not offer courses that the private HEIs in the region are already offering: the practice, however, is different. In this redundancy, the State wastefully pays for education that private sector is already providing. Meanwhile, the State’s budget for SUCs has close to doubled from 23.8 B in 2010 to 43.3 B in 2015. The overall output of the State’s integrated system is harmed.

While the SUCs and LCUs are supported by the taxpayers’ money, and the private schools and HEIs are supported by tuition and fees from parents or students who must also support the State’s educational budget through their taxes, the State effectively burdens twice through taxes those who choose to go to private schools.

While both public and private schools produce educational products that are public goods outputted by the State’s “complete, adequate, and integrated system of education” where the public and private schools play complementary roles, the support given by the State to the private schools for teacher compensation for publicly mandated disciplines is insufficient relative to the support it gives public school teachers for the same subjects.

While private schools are normally totally dependent on tuition and frees for their operation, but public schools function on allocated public money for their operational and personnel expenses, SUCs are now charging tuition at rates sometimes higher than many private schools, depriving the private schools of students who can pay tuition while further depriving the needy access to public education. Where the public sector delivers higher education mostly at public expense, such “cost sharing” measures for the private sector are meaningful. But where the private and public sector function in complementarity, such “cost sharing” is counterproductive.

While the State can allocate public scholarships to public and private schools, recently it has allocated higher education scholarships to SUCs who are already supported by public money rather than to private schools whose needy can benefit from the scholarships.

While objective quality assurance is in the interest of the “complete, adequate and integrated education” the State must provide in the interest of human society, the lack of consensus on quality assurance for higher education universally applicable means that the relative quality of public and private delivery cannot be objectively assessed. This means that public resources may be flowing to the public schools where they could be better allocated to better performing private schools.

While the public and private HEIs are to complement each other in providing education, the regulatory framework is uneven and unfair. Because of the establishment of the SUC by law as autonomous, it is still substantially free of regulation by CHED, even while its operation may be objectively substandard. Because the private HEIs operate on license of CHED, CHED can withdraw this license and effectively cause closure of the HEI for non-compliance with its regulation.

While the State funds the operation of SUCs and compensates its faculty adequately, the lack of clarity in intellectual property rights for intellectual products beneficial for the “complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” is disadvantageous the private sector. In the current Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development for Excellence the intellectual property of private schools and individual academicians is shared with the State’s system for token compensations for the private institution and for the private academician.

In the State’s provision of a “complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” it must assure itself that its educational operation and output does not effectively conserve the inefficiency, corruption, mendaciousness, sloth, immorality, fixation on private and personal interests, cultural prejudice, chauvinism, religious exclusiveness, religious extremism, and global leveling based on unjust international hegemonies in society, but systematically and addresses these issues in academic rigor and incisiveness in a manner that is liberating and transformative. For this reason, relative to the State which provides it but is always administered by limited individuals, higher education must function autonomously and in academic freedom. It is here where the complementation between the public and private sectors is crucial.

 

Promoting PPP as a matter of State policy

Where we are concerned about a national development that does not alienate the interests of Filipino citizens to the interests of the dominant powers of the world and promotes “inclusive development” that is genuine and the implication of an ongoing commitment to the common good that is protective of the rights and interests of all in our society and of the environment that is their “common home,” the contribution of academe not only in preparing people for this increasingly humane society, but also in assessing its accomplishments, attacking its deficiencies, and promoting its advancement must itself be promoted for its own specific value side-by-side with other socially relevant players such as the media (print, broadcast, television, and social), civil society organizations and faith communities.

We are concerned about national development. That development should not alienate the interests of Filipino citizens in favor neither of the interests of the dominant hegemonies of the world nor the interests of domineering power elites in the country. It should flow out of an abiding commitment to the common good that demands genuinely inclusive development. This means development should not exclude the poor, the unwashed, the uneducated, the marginalized, the religious minorities, the indigenous peoples; it should not proceed out of the destruction of the environment that constitutes “our common home.” For this kind of development, the contribution of “a complete, adequate and integrated system of education” with its rigor and discipline should be valued and promoted not only for preparing people for this increasingly humane society, but also for assessing its accomplishments, attacking its deficiencies, and promoting its advancement in academic freedom. The specific contribution of academe must be promoted and for its own specific value side-by-side with other socially relevant players such as the media (print, broadcast, television, and social), citizens’ service organizations and faith organizations.

In this context, as is the spirit of the Constitution, a healthy and genuine public-private partnership must be proactively promoted in recognition of the fundamental complementariness between the public and the private schools.

The political will must be found to reform structures and policies which preserve or exacerbate inequity between the public and private schools as they work together to deliver the complete, adequate and integrated system of education the Constitution mandates.

In public-private partnership, the State should help the private schools whose faculties were adversely affected by the sudden increase in teacher compensation in public schools to recruit, form and replenish their faculty.

In public-private partnership, the State should insure that the teacher assistance given to faculty of private schools teaching State-mandated courses should be equivalent to the compensation given to public school teachers.

In public-private partnership, the State should rationalize the courses offered by public and private schools in order to promote genuine complementariness between them. In exercise of the principle of subsidiarity[5], what can be provided well by private schools should not be coopted by public schools.

In public-private partnership, the State should provide tax rebates for those who send their children to private schools equivalent to the cost of state provision of education in those areas.

In public-private partnership, State schools should focus on providing broad access to education, especially higher education, refrain from charging tuition and fees, even as it encourages private schools to broaden access to their schools. The State should encourage and promote creativity, experimentation and innovation in private schools, without making this an exclusive preserve of private schools, as this may feed into the improvement of the State’s “complete, adequate, and integrated system of education” for human society.

In public-private partnership, the State should allocate publicly funded scholarships equitably between public and private schools.

In public-private partnership, the State must promote through genuine dialogue the consensus among public and private schools on a system of quality assurance that is independent of the control of government (and administrative interests), independent of the control of the schools being assessed, independent of the controlling interests of the stakeholders but based on objective learning outcomes. Quality in educational instruction, research and outreach must guide public spending in both public and private schools.

In public-private partnership, the State must finally promote the omnibus legislation that would finally level the playing field between private and public schools, SUCs and LCUs on the one hand, and private HEIs on the other.

In public-private partnership, the State must evolve consensus on and respect for intellectual property emanating from public and private universities. Centers of Excellence or Development for Excellence must respect, not overlook, intellectual property.

Finally, in public private partnership, the State must assure itself that its “complete, adequate and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” is in pursuit of truth insightfully critical, genuinely transformative, autonomous and academically free. The broad access of the public schools should be complemented by the quality, creativity, specialization, innovativeness and reach of the private schools in remote areas; the vulnerability of public schools to political meddling and corruption should be complemented by the relative independence of the private schools from political interference; the perspective of the public schools and public school culture and concerns should complement the perspective of private schools and private school culture and concerns in the shared pursuit of the common good and in the formation of leaders for the common good.

 

Summary

Thank you for your patience and attention. In considering “development,” I hope I have reminded all that development is not to be taken for granted. We must participate in guiding it away from human and humane alienation and towards a situation where all of our people without exception can flourish as human beings. We have re-asserted that education plays an important role in that development and have recognized anew the role of the State in providing a “complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” (par 1, sec 2, art XIV). Beyond current projects in PPPs, we have reiterated the importance of PPP in the constitutionally recognized complementariness between public and private schools not only for providing manpower for jobs in development, but for critiquing and guiding development to its human end. I have pointed out shortcomings in the current PPP, and I have suggested measures to correct those shortcomings towards achieving genuine PPP in Philippine education. My measures are modest, hopefully to give way eventually to an overhaul of our educational laws in a Code of Education that would level the playing field between public and private schools in genuine and enduring PPP. The sooner we can put our minds together with policy makers on this legal overhaul, the better for Philippine education.

[1] E.g. the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP)

[2] Status of ESC performance today per DepEd Order #6 s. 2015: within NCR, PHP 10,000 per grantee; outside NCR, Grades 7-8, PHP 7,500., Grades 9-10, PHP 6,500 per grantee. Annual level of assistance per teacher per DepEd Order #26 s. 2015, PHP 12,000. Unfortunately, even with the expected increase to PHP 18,000 in 2016, the assistance far from equalizes the earning level of private school teachers with that of public school teachers.

[3] Cf. DepEd Order #46 s. 2015: Detailed Guidelines on the Implementation of the Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program. For SY 2016-17, there are 642,000 vouchers allocated for three student types: public (400,000), ESC grantees (192,000), and private applicants (50,000).

[4] “Provide alternative sources of power for off-grid schools. Refurbish bicycles or boats to help students in remote areas get to schools. Provide education for stateless children. Assist DepED in preparing food of some two million learners. Bring education to street children through Kariton Klasrum. Help in bringing education to prisoners. Address children with disabilities through special education. Participate in Muslim education. Participate in Indigenous People’s education. Reach out to the unreached.” These were articulated in the 2015 National Convention of the CEAP.

[5] “On the basis of this principle, all societies of a superior order must adopt attitudes of help (‘subsidium’) – therefore of support, promotion development – with respect to lower-order societies. … In this way. Intermediate social entities can properly perform the functions that fall to them without being require to hand them over unjustly to social entities of a higher level. … Their initiative, freedom and responsibility must not be supplanted” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, #186) Since the State in the Philippines takes responsibility for provision of the complete, adequate and integrated system of education in the Philippines, the public school is the society of the superior order in this context that must support the private school.

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About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
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