A sectoral party-list group on Thursday lauded the passage on third reading of House Bill 7392 or An Act Institutionalizing the Alternative Learning System.
Leyte First District Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez authored the original draft of the bill.
“Widening the access to and improving the quality of basic education is crucial to regional development. Thus education deserves the fullest of our lawmakers. We are thankful that Rep. Romualdez has taken the lead in institutionalizing the Alternative Learning System as the ‘other lung’ of Philippine education,” said Philip Jude Acidre, first nominee of Tingog Sinirangan.
The House Bill 7392 was finally passed on third reading at the House of Representatives on May 15, 2018.
“This will definitely benefit thousands of young people who by particular social or economic circumstance cannot go through the formal school and enable to continue with their studies at the senior high school level,” Acidre told Manila Standard.
According to Acidre, many of these ALS learners are determined individuals who faced challenges or made sacrifices, which led them to stop formal schooling.
“Rather than being discouraged by reality, these ALS graduates have found strength in the adversities they faced, leaving us with inspiring examples of the power of education and the hope that it can provide,” he said.
Jake Laurence, an ALS teacher in Leyte Division, said this development will make ALS “be more capacitated to serve more than its current standing.”
“It is obvious that the current implementation has some financial constraints. Institutionalizing ALS means it will serve more and will be more effective in reaching its goals,” said Laurence, who has been teaching for the past 10 years.
Laurence, who is presently teaching inmates in Leyte, also asked for further support from the local government units on their various projects and programs.
“The ALS program in the Philippines today does have its unique challenges and which is why Rep. Romualdez authored House Bill 3706, later substituted by House Bill 7392, entitled an Act Institutionalizing an Alternative Learning System,” Acidre said.
The bill institutionalizes the implementation of ALS by establishing at least one community-based learning center in city and municipality, according to Acidre.
It also mandates the creation of a local ALS committee within the existing Local School Boards in every local government unit and institutes a mobile teacher program, with teacher plantilla positions created exclusively for the ALS.
Likewise, it allows the Department of Education to authorize private ALS providers, subject to a systematic accreditation process.
“Finally, the bill will also guarantee a stable funding allocation and expand the existing limited resources of the program. It dictates that a portion of the Special Education Fund of each city and municipality be provided for the implementation of the ALS program. It also provides tax incentives for all donations made to the program,” the Tingog Sinirangan leader added as he thanked those lawmakers who pushed and supported the passage of the bill on its third reading.