Aquino to students: Books first before Facebook

Natashya Gutierrez
Aquino to students: Books first before Facebook
'Open books before opening Facebook. Finish your homework before the raid in the Clash of Clans. Because like I said, you will be the one to continue all this,' says the President.

MANILA, Philippines – The President reminded Filipino students to study hard for the future of the Philippines.

On Friday, April 17, at the turnover ceremony of two new 3-story school buildings at the Tarlac National High School, President Benigno Aquino III told students the government is working hard to secure their future – and asked that the youth do their part.

“Embrace the opportunities presented to you with hard work. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times from your parents but this time it comes from the President of the Philippines: Study hard. All the support is there, but I cannot learn for you,” he said.

“Open books before opening Facebook. Finish your homework before the raid in Clash of Clans. Because like I said, you will be the one to continue all this.”

He also emphasized the youth can contribute to the future of the country not just by choosing “a right leader,” but also by excelling in their fields of choice.

“In honing your expertise in your chosen fields one day, you will be skilled defenders of what’s just, guardians of truth, and promoters of the interest of the majority. If you are able to do this, you will bring honor not just to yourselves, but also to your family, professions and to our beloved nation,” he said.

Aquino said the government continues to work hard to provide the youth with quality education, in addition to solving backlogs in chairs and textbooks, upgrading classrooms and investing in teachers.

He said even in the administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program, one condition is the regular attendance of children in school. The President also said they are focusing on student nutrition.

“In all this, the goal of the government is clear: To ensure that vacant jobs in the market will be filled by graduates who are smart, skilled and with expertise,” he said.

New classrooms

The new buildings turned over by the government were part of a project made possible by funding from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). About P10 billion was donated by PAGCOR to the administration’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project.

In a statement, PAGCOR chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr said the funding would help build classrooms for far-flung areas across the country. He said “it is the biggest funding ever provided by our agency for a single project in PAGCOR’s history.”

PAGCOR’s school building project includes classrooms in Tawi-Tawi, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Catanduanes, Palawan, Bukidnon, Masbate, Compostela Valley, and Bogo City and Bantayan Island in Cebu.

Earlier in the day, Aquino also attended the turnover of classrooms for the Department of Education’s PPP (Private-Public Partnership) for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP-1) at Malolos Integrated School in Bulacan.

Citicore-Megawide, which was awarded part of PSIP-1, was in charge of the project’s design, financing and construction for 7,144 classrooms in 12 provinces. PSIP-1 is the first social infrastructure PPP project under the Aquino administration and aims to address the over 60,000-classroom shortage nationwide. –

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