Pangilinan: Education, not wealth, makes you richer

A business tycoon has joined calls to ensure broader access to state education, as he noted that both government and private sector "disappoint" young Filipinos who deserve to be in school.

Speaking to graduates of the Philippine Women's University Saturday, telecommunications magnate Manny Pangilinan said the death of Kristel Tejada should remind Filipinos of the importance of state education.

Pangilinan was referring to the 16-year-old behavioral science freshman at the University of the Philippines Diliman who took her own life Mar. 15, days after filing for leave of absence.

"I would not surmise, much less judge, the realities which drove this promising, young lady to take her own life.  I am sure things are more complex than we know," Pangilinan said.

He nonetheless added: "But of this we are certain--education should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few."

Related: After student's suicide, UP lifts 'no late payment' policy

Tejada's death has sparked a heated debate on state education in the Philippines, with groups blaming strict tuition policies for worsening the student's financial woes.

Protests have meanwhile forced UP officials to lift its "no late payment" policy and vow for reforms in the state-run school's Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).

But militants instead demanded a total repeal of the STFAP and an across-the-board tution rollback, along with the resignation of officials involved in Tejada's case.

In other news: Why Aquino vetoed Magna Carta for the poor

For his part, Pangilinan said Tejada's suicide "devastated all of us--you as students, and us, your elders--because we all know that we continue to disappoint millions of young Filipinos who deserve their education."

"If we continue on this path, we will ultimately fail our own future," said the head of the Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication Co. and TV 5, among other firms.

Noting that he himself "was not born to a life of privilege or pedigree," Pangilinan said graduates are "richer than most Filipinos, simply for having received a quality education."

He added: "Which means that the same question constantly asked of me must be asked of you now: how much of your blessings will go to helping Filipinos uplift their welfare?"

Also read: A phone call may help prevent suicide

Tejada was laid to rest Saturday, her hearse accompanied by her family and friends, as well as UP students and faculty who had called her death a wake up call.

In a statement released for the funeral, UP President Alfredo Pascual said: "With all UP stakeholders collectively working towards reform, I am confident we can soon truly say that no qualified student is denied education in UP because of financial reasons."

"Soon we can claim that UP, the country's national university, has indeed become the University of the People," Pascual added.

Related slideshow: UP student's death sparks education debate

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils

On Now: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle-order lifts Chennai to 177-7. More »

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »