Senatorial candidate and former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday vowed to establish more learning programs and job opportunities for out-of-school youths.
Binay made the pledge after the US Agency for International Development (USAID) came up with a report showing the number of out-of-school youths in the Philippines increased during the pandemic, from 16.9 percent in January 2020 to 25.5 percent in April 2020.
While the report found out that the pandemic disproportionately impacted education, employment, and livelihood opportunities for out-of-school youth, it identified opportunities to address the problem through collaboration among government, non-=government organizations, businesses, and the academe.
A study showed that among the most common reasons youngsters do not attend school were marriage or family matters, lack of personal interest, and high cost of education or financial concerns.
Around 50 percent of out-of-school youths belong to families whose income fall within the bottom 30 percent of the population based on their per capita income.
Binay earlier proposed the creation of a National Skills Education Council (NSEC) that would match the skills of students with the needs of industries and employers.
Part of the program would be partnerships between schools and private firms where students can get hands-on training and where the courses are set to meet the needs of the company.
“In this way, students can also earn while they learn. We need to help out-of-school youth for them to have more opportunities to improve their lives,” Binay said.
“We should bring them back to school, and also give them the option to learn skills they can use to get jobs. We must give them hope and show that the government is there to take care of them,” he added.
Binay was formerly Makati City mayor who first served under the administration of the late former President Corazon Aquino. He is running for senator in the May 9 elections under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
He is also a guest candidate of presidential bets Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Manny Pacquiao.