The Commission on Human Rights on Friday welcomed a policy of Vice President Sara Duterte providing that students would not be required to wear uniforms during the incoming school year.
Meanwhile, Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Friday praised the Boholanos for their “united efforts to bring the province back from the devastation of Typhoon Odette.”
“This is a compassionate policy that considers the financial difficulties of indigent families who are unable to afford the cost of uniforms due to the rising prices of goods and commodities, as well as the economic constraints resulting from the pandemic,” CHR executive director Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.
“As we all anticipate the reopening of classes, CHR shall monitor the situation in schools and continue to work with all branches of government and stakeholders in upholding the right to education, health, safety, and just compensation in the education sector,” De Guia stressed.
The return of face-to-face classes is vital in ensuring the right to accessible and quality education, she noted.
“As the Department of Education gears up for 100 percent reopening of schools, it is equally important to ensure the safety of learners, educators, and school personnel amid the rising number of COVID cases and the emergence of variants that pose new threats,” the CHR chief said.
“As part of the recovery efforts, the reopening of schools is also an opportune time to address gaps that surfaced before and during the pandemic by enacting crucial policies and reforms in the education sector,” she added.
She also said the CHR welcomes the proposed Safe School Reopening Bill that would provide ways to support the safe reopening of classes and the transition to face-to-face format.
The proposed measure outlines key safety areas that would ensure the health and safety of learners and education personnel, De Guia said.
According to her, the proposed bill is a concrete way to uphold the right to education while protecting the right to health in educational institutions.
To jumpstart the reopening of schools, the CHR also expressed support for the passage of the House Bill 203 that seeks to increase the salary of teachers to ensure compensation for them that is comparable with other government professionals who have been given salary increase in recent years, De Guia said.
“Many teachers take on additional odd jobs to support their families especially given the current rising inflation and peso devaluation,” she noted.
“Ang pag-abante sa maayong ugma pinaagi sa hiniusang paglantaw usa ka halangdon nga gasa sa atong mga kamot. Dili tanan lugar dunay gasa nga sama niini (Moving to a better tomorrow through a united vision is a noble gift in our hands. Not every place has a gift like this),” Duterte said during Bohol’s 168th founding anniversary celebration at the Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran City.
“Pinaagi sa inyong pagkahiusa, walay duha-duha nga maabot gayud ang adlaw, nga makita ninyo ang bunga sa inyong paningkamot (Through your unity, there is no doubt that the day will come, when you will see the fruit of your efforts),” she added.
In her speech, Duterte cited the devastation of Typhoon Odette in the province. But the typhoon, according to her, was no match to the hard work of leaders and the contributions of the Boholanos in rebuilding the province back into its “iconic beauty.”
“Bohol is dear to my heart. Last year, I was with you when you surmounted the devastation of Typhoon Odette. Those were difficult, sleepless days and nights for all of you. Yet, I witnessed how you ascended to acceptance, forgiveness, and starting anew,” Duterte said.
“To see all of you today, the same people, now armored with tenacity and grace, is a glorious moment and I am happy to be with you, to be with all of you today,” she added.
Duterte also expressed optimism that the Boholanos’ “collective harmony and faith to overcome challenges will spread not only in the entire country, but also to the overseas Filipino workers around the world.”
“My dream is to see all of us, wearing a singular Filipino spirit for love of country and service just as the Boholanos,” Duterte said.
The annual celebration of the Bohol Day is also a commemoration of the “Sandugo,” a historical event of treaty of friendship between Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna.