- Senators are now pushing to grant President Rodrigo Duterte authority to reschedule the opening of class beyond August
- Under the law, schools must open not later than the last day of August
- Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed a bill that would allow the President to have “free rein to make a science-based decision on the school opening issue”
Several senators are making a move to grant President Rodrigo Duterte the authority to move the opening of class beyond the scheduled August 24.
Initiatives are now being made by senators and lawmakers in an effort to delay the school opening.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian sponsored a bill that would allow the President to set a different date for the start of the school year nationwide or in selected areas during a state of emergency. Currently, the law dictates that schools must open not later than the last day of August.
“This way, the government will have free rein to make a science-based decision on the school opening issue. In later years, this law would give the President and the Department of Education sufficient flexibility in adjusting the start of the school year when other emergencies or calamities would so require,” he said.
Senator Joel Villanueva also shared the same sentiments and asked for some “flexibility” in our laws to consider the safety of 27 million learners and 1.2 million employees in the education sector.
“I sincerely believe that we must allow some flexibility in our laws. We have no choice but to let hard science and not public opinion surveys or guesses call the sho
ts,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri also supported the move and stressed due to the health crisis, it is important for the government to be responsive to the people’s needs.
“We need a proactive stance now more than ever because this concerns a very important and vulnerable demographic of our population, our children…this country’s future,” he said.