Senator Win Gatchalian said the creation of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM ll) is “a significant step to address the country’s education crisis.”
Republic Act No. 11899, which Gatchalian sponsored during the 18th Congress before lapsing into law last July 23, created the EDCOM II to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the Philippine education sector’s performance.
This will include how the mandates are observed under the laws that created the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Gatchalian said this national assessment will recommend transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms to make the Philippines globally competitive in both education and labor markets.
It will also recommend specific, targeted, and timebound solutions to enable education agencies to improve their performance vis-à-vis measurable indicators and deliver accessible, inclusive, and quality education that is at par with world standards.
As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Gatchalian will be one of the Commission’s Co-Chairpersons.
As such, he will ensure that the Commission will be focused and productive, especially in identifying the challenges hounding the education sector and proposing the necessary reforms.
Citing a joint report by UNICEF, UNESCO, and the World Bank, he noted that learning poverty in the Philippines is now at 90.5 percent. This means that nine in every 10 Filipinos aged 10 cannot read or understand a simple story.
ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro meanwhile slammed the Department of Education for denying teachers in both the public and private sectors their just demand for salary increase.
Castro said private school teachers also need salary increases and their salaries should not be the government’s standard.
Castro lamented “Filipino teachers are among lowest paid compared to teachers of other southeast Asian countries.”
Castro filed House Bill 203 or An Act Upgrading the Salary Levels of Public School Teachers to Salary Grade 15 and Teaching Personnel in Higher Education to Salary Grade 16, and Increasing the Salaries of Non-Teaching Personnel to P16,000 and House Bill 562 An Act Increasing the Minimum Salaries of Private School Teachers to P30,000 per Month.