MANILA — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released some Php 1.97 billion to the Department of Education (DepEd) for the implementation of the “Abot-Alam Program”, designed to provide various opportunities for education and possible career and employment for the country’s out-of-school youth.
According to DBM Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, the Php 1.97 billion release — charged against DepEd’s budget this year — will provide necessary and appropriate interventions to one million out- of- school youth within the year.
“Abot-Alam is our way of reaching out to all out-of-school youth nationwide. The Aquino administration developed this program so we can equip our youth with the skills they need for gainful employment,” he said.
Through the program, DepEd expects to bring the number of Filipino out-of- school youth to zero by 2016.
Abad said there is so much untapped potential among out-of-school youth, many of whom were not able to finish their studies because of financial constraints.
“Abot-Alam can give them fair opportunities to get back on track and become productive members of their respective communities,” he said.
Under the leadership of DepEd and the National Youth Commission (NYC), the program will be carried out through the convergence of efforts between national government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and private institutions.
Abot-Alam will focus on two objectives in its implementation — the initiative to identify out of school youth beneficiaries nationwide, with specific attention on 15-30 years old Filipinos who have not completed basic or higher education or are unemployed; and to reintegrate out of school youth within their respective communities through different programs and services offered by program partners.
An example of such will be in the form of non-formal education, where the learning process is provided by partner implementers rather than the usual educational institutions.
“This latest release represents our continued investments in human capital through the delivery of focused social services,” said Abad.
President Benigno Aquino III remains committed to increasing the capacity of citizens and communities in promoting sustainable economic and inclusive growth in the country.
This also coincides with the President’s recognition of the Filipino people as the country’s greatest resource.