Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday sponsored before the plenary Senate Bill No. 1650 under Committee Report No. 223 or the proposed Magna Carta of the Out-of-School Youth (OSY) which aims to provide all children and youth expanded government assistance to all types of education and training, including school-based educational opportunities from the primary to tertiary levels, non-formal education under the Alternative Learning System, and most especially, technical and vocational training.
Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, said that the bill seeks to define the rights of over 3.8 million out-of-school children and youth in the country.
“We want to provide a comprehensive system of rights which would entitle OSYs to greater access to basic social services, including health, job-matching, employment and entrepreneurship,” Villanueva said during his sponsorship speech.
“Our proposed measure is in consonance with the 1987 Constitution recognizing the vital role of the youth in nation-building and to promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being,” Villanueva added.
Citing the 2016 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, Villanueva revealed that one in every 10 Filipino kids or about 10 percent of the 39 million Filipinos with age range six to 24 years old are out-of-school youth.
Villanueva further shared that the most common reasons among out-of-school youth for not attending school were marriage or family matters (42.3 percent), high cost of education or financial concerns (20.2 percent), and lack of personal interest (19.7 percent).
“We believe that when young Filipinos are given full access to healthcare, child-friendly, multi-cultural and global education, they are empowered to make their contribution to the progress of this country,” Villanueva said.
"Walang duda na kung bawat bata sa ating bansa ay may pagkakataong makapag-eskwela o mabigyan ng libro at magabayan ng sapat, magagawa nilang umangat at magtagumpay sa buhay.”
"We will speak up for their rights because they are the most vulnerable in our society. And if we want them to be truly “fair hope of the motherland”, then let us empower them and shield them from the harm of ignorance and lack of education,” Villanueva concluded.