President Benigno S. Aquino III does a high five with Miriam College High School Grade 11 students during the courtesy call at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (January 07).  (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III does a high five with Miriam College High School Grade 11 students during the courtesy call at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (January 07). (MNS photo)

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, Sept 23 (Mabuhay) – The ultimate goal of the government is to empower the people through education, and better health care and social services so that they would enjoy equal opportunities, President Benigno S. Aquino III said at the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government here Monday.

“The budget for most of our social services had been increased in multiples from the time we started in 2010,” the President told students during a question-and-answer session after delivering a policy speech to discuss the present situation in the Philippines and the reform measures being undertaken by his administration.

“The Department of Health, for instance, has had something like a three-fold increase of their budget from the 2010 levels, precisely to shield our population from catastrophic illnesses that will devastate them,” he added.

In terms of providing good education to the marginalized members of society, he said there is an alternative learning system that caters to the needs of migrant communities.

Teachers are embedded in these communities so that education is not stifled and could continue in those areas, he said.

Regarding the out-of-school youth, the President said the government is carrying out the Conditional Cash Transfer Program to ensure that young people stay in school.

“The Conditional Cash Transfer Program’s principal condition is that children should be kept in school, not just on the elementary level, but also on the secondary level. We have expanded the program this year to cover the secondary level,” he explained.

He further said that the technical vocational sector of the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) gives young people skills that would land them good jobs in the job market, even if they merely completed high school.

The government tries to provide incentives to out-of-school youths to motivate them to continue their schooling, President Aquino said. (MNS)