Education for all

By Senator Pia S. Cayetano

Author and Co-sponsor, RA 11650, ‘Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education Act’

Every child deserves an education.

Finally, we have a law that recognizes the needs of learners with disabilities.

Although there are such schools around the country, they are not enough to meet the needs of all the children.

I have been a supporter of schools for kids with special needs even before I became a senator. That’s because my son, Gabriel was born with multiple disabilities. And though he died before he turned one, I often wondered how he or kids like him would cope in schools, many of which don’t have the training to deal with kids with learning disabilities.

This law will also create job opportunities in the education and health fields.

And of course, this can only be a success with the cooperation of the entire community.#

 

Strengthening partnerships in education

Speech for the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA)

By Senator Pia S. Cayetano

Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee
Sponsor, Republic Act No. 11635, granting preferential tax rates for proprietary educational institutions

Good afternoon, everyone! Thank you for having me and taking time to include me in this event, where you are taking note of the work that we’ve done. Thank you for the very kind introduction.

There’s not much really to say for me on this topic. I won’t go through it as you all know what the law is about. I think what I’d like to do now is to focus on the need for further collaboration between COCOPEA and the legislative side of government.

In my case, there are just so many laws that I feel can be implemented better. Obviously, we would like your input on how we can improve the delivery of education on these issues as well.

This law that we have just passed is evidence of our ability to work together and to address the concerns that you have. I have always said that the private sector, and of course, COCOPEA, is at the lead in terms of the group of members that you have. The private sector is our partner in the delivery of education to the Filipino people.

So your wellbeing is important to us. Because your being able to deliver your mandate effectively also allows us to also deliver our mandate as provided by the Constitution.

I’d like to point out a few issues which I feel are important, because this is just what we have done in the past months. And the outcome of that is really, like I said, just one of the many things that we can do together if we put our minds to it.

I’ll just mention some of these concerns that I have personally taken note of:

•Teen pregnancy

It’s very important that we address this concern. Not just in our country, but all over the world, teen pregnancy is still a big issue. And we already know that when we have teen pregnancies, the victim here is usually the girl because she carries out that pregnancy and her whole future is put on the line. So we must be able to educate our young people and even our teachers. The delivery of education should have that confidence and the ability to address this concern.

•Youth’s exposure to vices

The other item that I wanted to discuss is exposure to vices. Cigarettes and the new hazards, which is vaping, I hope that you can all be on board in raising awareness on the dangers of these products. Vapes are not the safer alternative for young people. There is no safer alternative to young people. It is not correct that I see so many young people thinking that this is safer for them than cigarettes, that is not the case. So I hope you can also be on board in bringing awareness to this. And of course, there is still alcohol and drugs that we need to be conscious of.

•Inclusive learning

And then, of course, there is equal access to those students who have special needs. I know that in a developing country, this really entails costs that are not part of our regular budgeting process. But I hope in due time, we can continue to strengthen our institutions so that we can address the needs of these children with special needs.

•Futures thinking for education

And then very important to me, for those who may not know, I chair a new committee in the Senate, it’s the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking. And it is because of my exposure to experts in this field that my knowledge has grown, I continue to be a student in search of more knowledge. But I really embrace the belief that we need to change our system of education. We can’t do it overnight, but every day we must be making steps towards the realization of our goals for these children. And really, there is no one size fits all. The more we can customize the delivery of education for the special talents and (for) the full potential of young learners, the closer we will be to really having a productive next generation.

So that is really the goal, that we are able to shift from the more traditional delivery of education to more understanding of what the special talents are, and the interests and talents these young children are born with, that we develop their skills in communication, collaboration, creativity, and so on and so forth.

•Mental health

And then the awareness on mental health issues. I know we have all become more conscious of it during this time of COVID. These had always been concerns, but there is more acceptance now on the importance of mental health, and not just physical health.

•Sports and fitness

And speaking of physical health, as many of you know, I am an avid sports advocate. I love sports myself, I engage in sports, I encourage sports among everyone of all ages, and I do believe that there is room to increase the role of sports in our curriculum, in our day-to-day life in schools. I know some schools may not have facilities that can provide a venue for all kinds of sports, but in one way or another, there are ways that we can make our children fall in love with physical activities, with being active. Especially in our country, which is gifted with beautiful outdoors. We should be able to do more of that.

So those are just a few of my top-of-mind concerns that I think we can all work with, not necessarily legislation, but really just either implementing existing laws, implementing existing policies, and if there are best practices out there, by all means, share them. We would really like to highlight these best practices in any of the areas that I’ve mentioned, and even more.

So on that note, once again, it’s been a pleasure. I always like working with associations that are very organized, that have their data. Maraming salamat for also making my work easier. So on that note, again thank you for this opportunity to serve our country better. Thank you. #

Education leaders
Senator Pia Cayetano stresses the importance of stronger partnerships in education in her speech before the assembly of private school organizations.
Senate Ways and Means Chair Sen. Pia Cayetano sponsored RA 11635, the law entitling all private schools to the preferential tax rate.

Private schools deserve full support as our partners in education

RA 11635 brings much-needed reprieve to private schools

Statement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee
Principal sponsor, RA 11635

Private schools are the government’s partners in education. In this time of pandemic, they need as much assistance as they can get to continue delivering quality education to Filipino learners.

Thus, the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 11635 comes as a welcome development for them amid the uncertainties of the times, as rising COVID-19 cases forced us to restrict face-to-face classes to start the New Year.

This timely measure, which I sponsored, amends Section 27(B) of the National Internal Revenue Code, to clearly indicate that all proprietary educational institutions, whether for profit or non profit, shall enjoy the 10% preferential tax rate.

This shall also allow them to be covered by a provision under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, which reduced the tax rate of such institutions from 10% to 1% starting July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

With this measure, private schools would be given much-needed reprieve to cope with the continuing challenges caused by the pandemic, starting with their own financial viability and sustainability.

It must be emphasized that this law resulted from continuous dialogue and cooperation among the various stakeholders. We worked with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the private schools, led by the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA), to root out the issues and find a common solution.

We need to continue working with our partners in education for long-term solutions in terms of policy and budget, using strategic foresight and futures thinking to help this sector recover from the pandemic, and beyond.

This is part of our country’s commitment under Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, which is  to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all by year 2030. #

The new law will allow all private schools to be covered by a provision under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, which reduced the tax rate of such institutions from 10% to 1% starting July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

Pia: Bill clarifies private schools’ tax rates under CREATE

Senator Pia S. Cayetano welcomed the passage of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2407 on third and final reading on Monday (September 27), saying that the measure will clarify that all private schools – both ‘non-profit’ and ‘for profit’ – are entitled to the 1 percent preferential tax rate under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which was enacted last March.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair and sponsor of SBN 2407, Cayetano acknowledged private school institutions as the government’s “partners in delivering quality education for the youth, and in molding them to become changemakers and responsible leaders of the future.”

“This partnership is even more crucial today as our nation struggles with COVID-19, which has disrupted educational systems and the formal learning of our current generation of students,” Cayetano added.

She noted that many private schools are in a critical state, citing data from the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA) showing that enrollment among its member-schools has declined to 60 percent this school year, compared to 2020.

It may be recalled that in her sponsorship speech, Cayetano recounted the circumstances that led to the filing and approval of the tax relief measure:

•The passage of CREATE (RA 11534) on March 26, 2021, brought reprieve to proprietary educational institutions by lowering their 10% preferential tax rate to 1% for a period of 3 years, specifically from July 1, 2020 until June 30, 2023.

•On April 8, 2021,  the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Regulation No. (RR) 5-2021, which specifically stated that only ‘non-profit’ proprietary educational institutions can avail of the preferential tax rate under CREATE – basing its policy on previous Supreme Court rulings.

•This then prompted the filing of SBN 2272 by Senator Sonny Angara, which sought to clarify the issue. In the hearing held by the ways and means panel on June 30, 2021, senators asked the Department of Finance (DOF) to suspend implementation of BIR’s RR 5-2021 to avert its impending ill-effects on “for profit” private schools.

•In response, DOF, through a letter to the Senate dated July 21, 2021, gave its commitment to issue the appropriate revenue regulations suspending the relevant provisions of BIR’s RR 5-2021.

•As a result, the BIR issued RR 14-2021, which suspended the inclusion of “for-profit” private schools in the regime of regular income tax.

Cayetano said that it is important to give the public a fair and full picture of the circumstances that led to the filing of Sen. Angara’s SBN 2272, which was substituted by SBN 2407 under her committee report.

She concluded by saying that SBN 2407 will help the Philippines keep track with its goal to ensure quality education, which is part of the government’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4.

“This is the power of dialogue at work, involving all stakeholders,” said Cayetano, who also chairs the Senate Committee on the SDGs, Innovation, and Futures Thinking.#

Senate session hall
Senator Pia Cayetano: SBN 2407 will clarify that all private schools are entitled to the 1 % preferential tax rate under CREATE

Sponsorship of the bill clarifying the tax rate for all private schools

By Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Chairperson, Committee on Ways and Means

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, today, I rise to sponsor and seek your support for the passage of Senate Bill No. 2407, under Committee Report No. 311, which amends Section 27(B) of the National Internal Revenue Code.

Not long ago, this chamber passed the CREATE Act, a measure that serves as our fulfillment to the overdue reforms in the country’s corporate income tax and fiscal incentives system.

In particular, CREATE provided reprieve to proprietary educational institutions in the country by lowering their 10% preferential tax rate to 1% for a period of 3 years, specifically from July 1, 2020 until June 30, 2023.

This was made in keeping with our desire to provide support for our education sector, which has been severely burdened by the disruptions caused by the pandemic. This sector continues to need as much assistance and resources as it can get in order to continue delivering quality education to Filipino learners.

Meanwhile, on 8 April 2021,  the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Regulation No. 5-2021, which specifically stated that only non-profit proprietary educational institutions can avail of the preferential tax rate under CREATE, basing this on  Supreme Court decisions.

This then prompted the filing of Senate Bill No. 2272 by Senator Sonny Angara, which sought to clarify the issue. During our hearing held on June 30, 2021,  my fellow legislators and I asked the DOF to suspend the implementation of the BIR Revenue Regulation in order to avoid its impending ill effects on the “for profit” private schools.

In response, the DOF, through its letter to the Senate dated 21 July 2021, gave its commitment that in order to ease the burden of taxation among proprietary educational institutions, they shall issue the appropriate revenue regulations suspending the relevant provisions of BIR’s Revenue Regulation No. 5-2021.

As a result, the Bureau issued Revenue Regulation No. 14-2021, which suspended the inclusion of “for-profit” private schools in the regime of regular income tax.

So this Committee Report effectively clarifies that the preferential tax rate of 10% under the NIRC, which was lowered by the CREATE Act to 1% from July 1, 2020 until June 30, 2023, applies to all private schools – putting an end to the debates as to whether  “for-profit” private schools were covered or not.

Private schools are the government’s partners in education. This partnership is even more crucial today, as our nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted our educational systems and the formal learning of our current generation of students.

Thank you Mr. President. #

DND, UP officials urged to hold dialogue ‘with an open mind’

Senator Pia S. Cayetano urged officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) to engage in dialogue with an open mind, and in the spirit of finding solutions to differences that led to the unilateral abrogation of the 1989 UP-DND accord.

“I ask both parties to come in with an open mind. Come in assuming that you have a child studying there [in UP],” Cayetano said Tuesday, as the Senate tackled a resolution expressing its sense to welcome the DND’s decision to answer various calls for a dialogue with UP on the termination of the long-standing agreement.

The senator, who earned her economics and law degrees from UP, said the unilateral abrogation of the accord “sends the wrong signal that we cannot even appreciate what was done in the past,” that led the two parties to come to an agreement in 1989.

“I read the statement of [former UP] President [Jose] Abueva on how he and [then Defense Secretary Fidel] Ramos had mutual respect for each other, and so it made it easy for them to come to this agreement. That is what we need at this time, not unilateral actions, which may be based on information that is perceived as facts by one side, but not necessarily facts on the other side,” Cayetano said.

“I am a proud graduate of UP, as so many of our other colleagues are here. UP has molded me. I was never an activist. I was more of a volleyball player, trying to get good grades. My brother, now Congressman Alan Cayetano, was an activist. So iba-iba ang nagiging experience, iba-iba din ang nagiging outcome nitong experiences namin. And we come out, in many ways, molded, inspired, touched by our experiences in UP,” the lawmaker added.

Senate Resolution No. 616, of which Cayetano manifested to be a co-author along with fellow senators, further urged both parties to revisit the accord. It also called on the DND to hold dialogues with other academic institutions to find a common ground that promotes the rule of law, peace, and security, and protects academic freedom and the pursuit of excellence.

Cayetano recalled that she brought the UP Women’s Football Team to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for “a light and fun exchange” between the students and the cadets.

“One of the little efforts that I have done – and I know it’s a very small effort – is I’ve brought the UP Women’s Football Team to PMA twice, so that there would be a light and fun exchange [and] getting-to-know-you among these students of UP and the cadets of PMA. That was done in the spirit of sportsmanship. I think it was a step in the right direction,” she said.

“Sana, ‘yan din ang ipakita natin, tayong mga leaders of these various institutions at the highest level. So that we can really move in that direction — in the spirit of friendship, in the spirit of finding solutions, and not just making a conclusion that ‘my way is better than your way,'” Cayetano concluded. #

Pia cites UP’s high global ranking in research citations

Senator Pia S. Cayetano congratulated the University of the Philippines (UP)  for the high scores it obtained in the latest World University Rankings for its clinical, pre-clinical, and health research citations, noting that Philippine universities have lagged behind in the area of research for the past decades, but UP is  finally putting us on the map of top universities of the world.

 

“Most of us may not be aware of it, but UP now ranks among the world’s top universities in terms of citations for clinical, pre-clinical, and health subjects,” Cayetano shared, following Monday’s (Sept. 21) Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the proposed 2021 budget for the UP system, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

 

“This is great news coming at a time when the country is realizing how investments in research are crucial to addressing public health emergencies like COVID-19. Despite UP being cited, our overall research capability as a country remains low,” added the Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance overseeing the budget for health and education.

 

The senator was referring to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE-WUR), wherein UP’s citation score for its clinical, pre-clinical, and health research (91.9%) ranked higher than some of the world’s top universities, including University of Oxford (74%), University of Cambridge (68.8%), and Harvard University (66.7%).

 

“UP’s high score is an indicator of the impact and influence of its research, which researchers from other countries have cited for succeeding studies and possible innovations,” she explained.

 

Cayetano added that “strategic investments in public health research and innovation would allow the country to catch up with some of our neighbors in Southeast Asia which have been able to handle COVID-19 more efficiently using advanced science and technology.”

 

“We act surprised that our neighbors, like Thailand and Vietnam, are already developing a vaccine, when in fact, we have not been investing in research laboratories for decades,” she stressed.

 

On the other hand, Cayetano noted that funding for the research budget of the 111 other SUCs in the country is very low compared to the research expenditures of some of our ASEAN neighbors.

 

“Sadly, the budget for research for all the SUCs that Senator Joel Villanueva proposed and that we supported in the 2020 budget, was one of the items that was realigned for COVID response. The same happened to the research budget for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and futures thinking,” noted Cayetano, the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on SDGs, Innovation, and Futures Thinking.

 

As reported before the committee by Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, government funding for SUCs’ research and technical advisory extension programs represent just 3% and 2%, respectively, of the P64.7-billion proposed SUCs budget this year.

 

Overall, Dr. Ronquillo noted that the country’s budget for research and development only represents 0.16% of our GDP, which is lower compared to Singapore (1.94%), Malaysia (1.44%), Thailand (1%), and Vietnam (0.53%).

 

“Our finance committee chair, Sen. Sonny Angara understands and supports the need for funding in research. We will work together to ensure we have a strong budget for research for 2021. We already have the foundation and potential. We just need to translate these into concrete programs to better serve the needs of Filipinos,” Cayetano concluded.#

University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo Concepcion presents a slide to Senate Finance Committee Vice Chair Sen. Pia S. Cayetano showing how UP’s citation scores for its for clinical, pre-clinical, and health subjects outranked some the world’s top universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE-WUR).

Strategic foresight needed for future of education

Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Innovation, and Futures Thinking Chair Pia S. Cayetano on Thursday reiterated the importance of strategic foresight in crafting policies that will help the education sector prepare for all possible scenarios in the new normal and beyond.

Cayetano said a clear proof of the importance of Futures Thinking in the sector is the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) initiative a few years ago to develop 132 self-learning modules on science and math subjects for grade schoolers.

DOST’s Science Education Institute (DoST-SEI) director Dr. Josette Biyo shared details of this initiative during the Senate Committee on Basic Education hearing. She said the modules were conceptualized before the pandemic four years ago, and were developed in a span of two years.

Following consultations with educators, experts, and DepEd officials, the Institute was able to develop modules, transform them into scripts, and digitize them for animation. Teachers were also trained to use the modules, which the agencies made sure would fit the K-to-12 curriculum.

“We had to tap expert teachers to conduct workshops, write lesson plans, recheck lesson plans, and transform these modules into scripts that have been digitized. After digitization, we validated it. Then in coordination with DepEd, we implemented these coursewares’ [effectiveness] in 20 schools nationwide,” Dr. Biyo shared with the panel.

Dr. Biyo said the self-learning modules for Grades 1 to 8 were already uploaded via DepEd’s learning platform, whereas the lessons for Grades 9 to 10 have yet to be digitized. The two agencies are also discussing plans to develop radio programs for learners in far-flung areas.

Cayetano, in response, commended the DOST-SEI for its strategic foresight in preparing these materials early on, stressing that planning for the future of education indeed requires years of preparation and consultations with experts.

“I want to emphasize – in all fairness to the professionals and officials from DepEd and DOST – that it is really difficult to do this overnight. Obviously, there was a plan and a foresight. All the people who decided to put this together need to be acknowledged for their effort,” the senator said.

“We can now focus our efforts on the other aspects that have not been touched. Since we already have science and math modules up to the 8th grade, maybe we can focus our attention on the remaining grades. Perhaps the private sector can also be tapped to help with this,” she added.

In relation to the future of education beyond the new normal, Cayetano expressed support for bills pending at the committee level, particularly Senate Bills 1460 (Basic Online Learning and Distance Education Act of 2020) and 1565 (Education in the New Normal Act).

She said she recognizes the intention of the proposals, which is to put in place the proper standards for distance education and innovative learning methods when crisis would disrupt our education system.

The former chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Cayetano sponsored Republic Act No. 10650 or the Open Distance Learning Act, which institutionalized distance learning in tertiary education way back in 2014. #

Senator Pia S. Cayetano said a good example of Futures Thinking is the Department of Science and Technology’s initiative four years ago to develop 132 self-learning modules on science and math subjects for grade schoolers.

Lay down plans for blended learning in far-flung areas

Senator Pia S. Cayetano on Thursday urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to lay down specific plans for blended learning in basic education, particularly for far-flung areas that have limited access to distance education requirements, including the Internet.

“I know what the general instructions (of the President) are, but are there going to be exceptions to these rules? Because it’s even harder to deliver distance learning materials for some barangays which have no exposure or may have very limited exposure to the virus,” the senator asked DepEd officials during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.

Cayetano was referring to the general directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), that face-to-face classes shall remain suspended until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.

“Of course we will follow the directive. Don’t get me wrong. But I am proposing that you..make clear what is needed for other scenarios, like in many far-flung areas,” she added.

The senator had been urging DepEd to present concrete proposals since the sixth weekly report of the President was submitted to Congress pursuant to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

In the comment she submitted in response to the President’s report, Cayetano asked DepEd to prepare a blended learning method that would include time in school, “provided it is safe… and social distancing measures are in place, such as having a smaller number of students to attend a few days a week on a rotational basis for interaction with their teachers.”

“I’ve been to barangays in the mountains that are not accessible to cars… Yung kaisa-isa o dalawang teacher sa barangay, kahalubilo naman nila ang mga estudyante to begin with because [their community is] isolated. Mas mahirap pang mag-deliver doon ng distance learning,” she explained.

Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, in response, acknowledged that the DepEd is aware of the realities that Cayetano pointed out. He said in these particular cases, teachers are allowed to meet a small number of neighboring learners on a regular basis so they can provide guidance in person, but not necessarily inside the schools.

“Those are options that the schools have in terms of ensuring the availability of an opportunity for the youngsters in far-flung areas to be able to learn… Our Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) has identified that as an option,” Usec. San Antonio explained.

Cayetano said DepEd should exert more effort in clarifying and addressing these special scenarios since they already recognize that the situation exists. She said the agency should bring this to the attention of decision-making bodies to carve out better systems of learning for far-flung areas. #

Pre-pandemic picture from Lusod Community School in Brgy. Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet. Sitio Lusod is an upland community which Senator Pia Cayetano has visited several times.

Make ‘bayanihan’ work to revolutionize PH education for our youth

“The Bayanihan Spirit is called upon now more than ever to make education effective for our young children.”

Senator Pia S. Cayetano delivered this message to the country’s educators on Monday (June 1), as she called for a whole-of-society approach to address challenges to the basic education sector during COVID-19 and beyond.

Speaking before DepEd’s virtual kickoff program of the 2020 Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela, Cayetano reiterated the importance of blended learning to ensure that no child will get left behind in receiving quality education during the ‘new normal.’

“The urgent task at hand [is] the delivery of the education materials. So we are now rushing to set into place other modes of delivery because the usual physical classroom setting will not be happening anytime soon,” the senator noted.

“However, I’d like to include in the discussion that beyond the delivery of education is [the need to] reach every single child with the help of tools available to us, so we can optimize learning for each child,” she added.

Cayetano said this requires more than just shifting to a different teaching platform – from physical classes to online classes – but a comprehensive ‘blended’ approach, which will employ the participation of parents, teachers, and communities in delivering education to children.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Innovation, and Futures Thinking, Cayetano said educators can turn current challenges into opportunities to jumpstart education for the future.

“I support the initiatives and at the same time challenge DepEd to make the most of these challenging times and really revolutionize education for our young people today,” she said.

Senator Pia Cayetano: “Beyond the delivery of education is [the need to] reach every single child with the help of tools available to us, so we can optimize learning for each child.”

DepEd Secretary Leonor “Liling” Briones, for her part, echoed the senator’s beliefs, stressing that the agency shares Cayetano’s goal of approaching the sector’s needs using a futures thinking mindset.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the Department of Education shares Sen. Pia Cayetano’s goal of approaching the sector’s needs using a futures thinking mindset.

Meanwhile, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan also expressed his support for Cayetano’s message. He said there is now a much-needed opportunity to “really transform the [country’s] education system.”

“Hindi po tatalikuran ng ating pamahalaan at ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ang tungkulin na magbigay ng kalidad na edukasyon para sa lahat. Hindi lamang emergency response ito, kundi tulad ng sabi ni Senator Pia, kailangan nakatungtong din ito sa mas pangmatagalang vision at innovation for the future of the education system,” Usec. Malaluan stressed.

He said the agency is set to implement blended and distance learning systems in line with the agency’s goal of delivering quality education to children that is geared for the future.

DepEd Undersecretary Nepo Malaluan: “Tulad ng sabi ni Senator Pia, kailangan nakatungtong din [ang mga pagbabago sa edukasyon] sa mas pangmatagalang vision at innovation for the future of the education system.”

DepEd is preparing to deliver different learning modalities to children during the crisis, which include printed modules, online learning resources, and television and radio instructions.

Cayetano added: “I am so happy that [DepEd under] Secretary Briones and I see eye-to-eye on these ideas. But we need to be able to translate this into actual action on the ground with our teachers [and society helping as a whole].”

“I trust that in the weeks and months to come, [we can cascade] all this information and bring our educators up to speed so the knowledge that [our children] will receive outside of the classroom is maximized,” added Cayetano, the principal author of three laws on flexible learning, including the Open High School System Act (RA 10665), Open Distance Learning Act (RA 10650), and Ladderized Education Act (RA 10647). #