About the Campaign

The “6 will Fix!” Campaign and the Automatic Appropriation for Education

6 will Fix

 

The Neglected Generation 

View more presentations from sixwillfix. (tags: delors education)

 

In the recent years, debt service allocations dwarfed allocations for social spending, including spending for education, health, agriculture, and the environment. This is despite the constitution provision (Article XIV, Section 5.5) stating that education should receive the highest budgetary allocation.

The cause of this, as identified by the debt advocacy group the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), is the Automatic Appropriations provision, Sec. 26 (B), Book 6 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 which states: “Automatic Appropriations. — All expenditures for … (b) principal and interest on public debt, … are automatically appropriated.” The provision was copied exactly from Marcosian law, Sec. 31 (B) of Presidential Decree 1177.

Seeing this, the Youth Against Debt (YAD) recalibrates their budget engagement in order to align their efforts for higher education spending with FDC’s campaign on the repeal of the automatic appropriation for debt service. Thus, in its 2nd general assembly, YAD decided to campaign for the “automatic appropriations for education”.

But where will YAD peg the appropriation? YAD looks on international benchmarks. It was then discovered that in 1996, the International Commission of Education in the Twenty First Century, headed by former European Commission President Jacques Delors, submitted a report entitled “Learning: the Treasure Within” to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The report proposed, among many things, that at least 6% of the gross national product of the nation should be allocated to education spending. Thus the “6 will Fix!” campaign of YAD.

Automatic appropriations for education will contribute significantly to the call for the repeal of the automatic appropriations for debt service, especially since the existence of one is almost mutually exclusive that of the other – having both would claim almost all of the government’s national expenditures. Also, it directly piths education spending to that of debt servicing, giving flesh to the constitutional provision mandating the highest budgetary allocation to education.

Thus, an Automatic Appropriations Provision for Education must be legislated, to be incorporated in the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. Such legislation will compel legislators to make a choice between DEBT or EDUCATION, the Filipino students or its foreign lenders.

YAD proposes an automatic appropriation for education pegged at 6% of the projected GNP, as required by the Delors Commission standard for education spending. This can be done in a gradual manner, with a 1% of GNP increase yearly for education spending until 2010.

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rona  |  June 16, 2008 at 6:40 am

    we, as students, really need that 6% of the GNP since the diminishing quality of education, most especially in public schools, is obviously prevailing the nation. i hope this campaign would wake the government’s sleeping conscience. more power YAD!

    Reply
  • 2. joomlaguro  |  October 5, 2008 at 4:34 am

    kudos!

    Reply
  • 3. Vince Eugenio  |  January 10, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Just a thought: The message should be 6% of the National Budget. GNP is the total market value of all the goods and services produced by a nation during a specified period. It’s just a “mathematical” calculation of the country’s “economic” value. Government does not take hold of that money. It only gets the funds for public spending through taxation (and yes, foreign borrowings) and appropriates that through a legislation.

    Reply
  • 4. sixwillfix  |  January 25, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Hi Vin,

    Thanks for the point. 🙂

    It is true that the government does not yet “hold” the money generated in the economy, as measured by the GNP. It still needs to tax the economy in order for it to fund social services such as education.

    Thus, the call for 6% of GNP to Education expenditure involves a two-step process: one, efficient tax collection and revenue-generation on the part of the government, so much so that they will be able to fund a development-driven national budget, and two, a substantial part of that national budget should go to education.

    The bigger the economy becomes, then the more the government should be able to tax, and the more the government should spend for education as an investment for future economic growth.

    Kudos, Vin!

    Youth Against Debt

    Reply
  • 5. Vincent Eugenio  |  January 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Yeah, I understand your point. with a better economy, a bigger allocation should go to education.

    But using an “economic” tool such as the GNP as a basis for appropriating a budget for social services would not be safe. There will be no guarantee that it will “fix” the education quagmire. With the “bubble” behavior of world economies,using it as a basis for education spending would be like leaving your kid to a schizo nanny. On top of it, interest payment for foreign debt is included in GNP calculations.

    And I did some calculations too. (he he, i’m a schizo, believe me) The GNP for 2006 is 1,855.1 (nscb figures) and the budget for education in 2007 is 134.7 (DBM). That would be 7.2% of the GNP. Way higher than your 6% call. There are problems in the figures reflected in the fdc site versus those reflected in government stats. (check mo)

    In a communication perspective, the message is vague and misleading. 6 will fix sounds so sure. It has some finality into it. with a shaky economy as the yardstick, how can we be so sure? 6 can probably make a dent, but fixing it is another thing.

    What’s the country’s GNP for 2008? Google it and you will see quarterly postings from NEDA and NSCB, and media groups are not even concerned with the actual figure, they are just reporting percent growths because I think it is clear to them that it’s just a mere estimate of things.

    He he he. That’s all. I’m just trying to stir you awake to think about a more forcible concrete message.

    Reply
  • 6. sixwillfix  |  February 11, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Hi Vin,

    First of all, the Six will Fix! campaign thanks you for your sharp comments. They are very helpful in elucidating points which would have otherwise ignored. Kudos to you, Vin!

    Second, NSCB indeed pegs GNP for 2006 at P1.399 trillion, but this value is actually the real value – adjusted for inflation. We cannot compare the real GNP value with the P144.23 billion education spending value for 2006, because this value is nominal. We can, however, compare the education spending data with the GNP nominal value, which is pegged at P6.57 trillion. Using the nominal data for GNP and education spending, we will end up with a 2.2% ratio – way below the Delor’s standard. Using the real values for both will yield the same result.

    Actually, the Youth Against Debt (YAD) discovered that the Philippines was never able to reach the standard. The closest we got was 3.8% during the time of Estrada in 1998. This study was contained in the The Neglected Generation presentation. You can also download the accompanying paper here.

    Third, the term “six will fix” was also heavily discoursed one. There are some those who originally contested it on the grounds that yes, 6% from GNP to education spending will not alone fix the education system. But we arrived at a consensus that indeed, doing so will fix some problems, and its always good to start somewhere.

    Fourth, the GNP as a measure is not perfect. FDC actually exposed some of its flaws here, or particularly, its flawed use by the government. The key here is that the government must be capacitated to measure it as accurately as possible. The government must be able to give a full account, without number crunching and/or manipulation, of all of the economic activities in a country.

    Nonetheless, this doesn’t preclude as to use standards other than the education-spending-to-GDP ratio. In fact, we believe that the more standards, the better and more secure it is for the education sector. But GNP in itself is an adequately consistent measure of national income that can be validated and trusted. Pending the creation and widespread use of a better index, GNP can serve as a standard to measure the wealth of nations.

    Good day Vin!

    Six will Fix!

    Reply
  • 7. Rowena Bernal  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Hi! I am for the automatic 6 percent allocation to education. I am wondering, how much exactly was the Philippine’s 2008 GNP? and how much was allocated to education?

    Reply
  • 9. Stephi Chea  |  June 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Second, NSCB indeed pegs GNP for 2006 at P1.399 trillion, but this value is actually the real value – adjusted for inflation. We cannot compare the real GNP value with the P144.23 billion education spending value for 2006, because this value is nominal. We can, however, compare the education spending data with the GNP nominal value, which is pegged at P6.57 trillion. Using the nominal data for GNP and education spending, we will end up with a 2.2% ratio – way below the Delor’s standard. Using the real values for both will yield the same result.
    +1

    Reply
  • 10. Dedicated Rental Server  |  July 21, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Second, NSCB indeed pegs GNP for 2006 at P1.399 trillion, but this value is actually the real value – adjusted for inflation. We cannot compare the real GNP value with the P144.23 billion education spending value for 2006, because this value is nominal. We can, however, compare the education spending data with the GNP nominal value, which is pegged at P6.57 trillion. Using the nominal data for GNP and education spending, we will end up with a 2.2% ratio – way below the Delor’s standard. Using the real values for both will yield the same result.
    +1

    Reply

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