Other Government Release

National Economic and Development Authority

Balisacan, Gatchalian explore the way forward for education and digital connectivity

MANILA – National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, have aligned their vision to prioritize education and digital connectivity as critical enablers of socioeconomic transformation.

At a recent meeting held at the NEDA Central Office on May 16, Balisacan and Gatchalian discussed strategies to push for the passage of several legislative initiatives in the 19th Congress: the Batang Magaling Bill, the Basic Education and Early Childhood Care and Development Alignment Bill, and the Konektadong Pinoy Bill.

Senator Gatchalian highlighted several education bills aimed at improving the quality of education in the Philippines. Notably, the Batang Magaling Act focuses on equipping senior high school students with relevant skills upon graduation to facilitate smoother transitions into the labor market. Additionally, the Basic Education and Early Childhood Care and Development Alignment Act aims to achieve universal coverage and elevate the quality and delivery of early childhood care and development programs.

“Addressing the learning crisis in the Philippines requires a multifaceted approach, including enhanced teacher training, a modernized curriculum, and initiatives that improve learner outcomes. Our education system must adapt to the demands of the 21st century,” said Gatchalian.

Meanwhile, Balisacan pointed out the strong link between the two priority sectors.

“Given the findings of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II), there is no other way forward but to work hard for fundamental reforms in the education sector. We cannot let our children fall behind our peers in the region, especially with the dizzying pace of technological changes happening in the world today. Relatedly, improving digital connectivity across the country can help us bridge the gap by giving our students greater, more equitable access to the richest sources of knowledge and the most useful tools that the world offers with a single click,” said the NEDA chief.

During the discussion, NEDA Undersecretary for the Legislative Affairs Group Krystal Uy elaborated on the features of the proposed Konektadong Pinoy Bill and provided insights on cross-country performance in the telecommunications sector as well as the constraints that hinder its development.

The bill aims to provide affordable Internet access for every Filipino by removing regulatory barriers to entry on all segments of the data transmission industry, making more efficient the use of scarce radio spectrum resources, improving access to telecoms facilities and strengthening enforcement and monitoring mechanisms.

“We firmly believe that the Konektadong Pinoy Bill will empower our ICT sector to meet the demands of the 21st-century digital landscape. By reforming the legal and regulatory framework for internet network infrastructure deployment and spectrum management, we can not only enhance connectivity but also fortify our economic resilience. Infrastructure investment safeguards our digital assets and paves the way for sustainable growth,” stated Uy.

NEDA and the Office of Senator Gatchalian agreed to work together for the immediate passage of these high-impact legislative measures that are critical in sustaining the Philippines’ continued economic development and social progress.