Lawmaker seeks P500-M increase in Armm budget-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
A MEMBER of Congress has requested President Benigno Aquino III for an additional P500 million to the 2013 budget of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) to finance education of disadvantaged youths in the independent Muslim region.
In a letter dated September 12, Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said the additional budget will be used to establish and implement an Affirmative Muslim Education Fund or Amef for deserving but underprivileged students from Mindanao.
"Because of the disadvantages that Muslim Mindanao has continually experienced, the situation in the Island has not improved and what it needs now are leaders who can break the mould and bring progress to Mindanao," Rodriguez said.
"One way to do so is to give our Muslim youth in Mindanao opportunities to be educated in good universities and colleges either in the Philippines or abroad by shouldering their tuition and other fees, board and lodging, plane fares and monthly stipend," he said.
Under Rodriguez's proposal, students who will be granted the opportunity to study through the Amef shall serve the government after their graduation at the rate of two years of service per year of subsidized studies.
Rodriguez pledged P1 million of his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for the Amef while his brother, Abante Mindanao party-list Representative Maximo Rodriguez, is also willing to contribute P1 million from his PDAF to finance the project.
"Mr. President, through the Amef, we could develop Muslim leaders with integrity, honesty, and academic knowledge to be able to implement changes and improvements in Muslim Mindanao," Rodriguez said.
The House of Representatives has approved earlier this week the P13-billion budget of the Armm for next year. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)