DEPUTY Speaker and Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva on Friday welcomed the signing into law of a measure allowing the President to adjust the start of the school year during a state of emergency or state of calamity.
Villanueva was joined by CIBAC Rep. Domeng Rivera in lauding President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte for signing Republic Act (RA) No. 11480 aimed at addressing concerns on the opening of classes.
“RA 11480 is a much-needed law in the middle of this pandemic because it gives the government free hand in determining when is the right time to open classes taking into account the safety and readiness of all the stakeholders in the resumption of classes. This will put to rest the apprehension of parents that their children might skip schooling this year considering the reports that our learning institutions and students alike are not fully ready to undergo blended learning as well as the high risk of contacting the virus when students go out of their homes,” said Villanueva, founder of Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide (JIL Church) and one of the principal authors of the law.
“Aside from its relevance in our current situation, RA No. 11480 also has bearing and applicability in future cases of state of emergency, calamity or similar occurrences that would require delaying the start of school year,” Villanueva added.
RA No. 11480 amends RA No. 7797, which mandates that opening of classes must be between the first Monday of July but not later than
the last day of August.
Through the new law, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), is empowered to defer the opening of classes even beyond the last day of August particularly in the state of calamity or emergency.
In addition, the law also covers all basic education including foreign and international schools.
CIBAC Party-List is one of the principal authors of the law at the House of Representatives.
It filed House Bill (HB) No. 6661, which is one of the bills that were consolidated and transmitted to the Palace for the President’s signature.
“We thank the President for signing this legislation into law. By such, DepEd is not anymore beholden and bound-by-law to start classes until end of August but is now at liberty to come up with the most efficient course of action based on progressive assessment and evaluation of our situation,” said Rivera, one of the authors.