Senate President Franklin Drilon on Thursday morning said they are prioritizing the passage of the 2016 national budget, which includes the public elementary and secondary school teachers’ salary increase proposal embedded in the P439-Billion budget of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Drilon said the DepEd budget together with the salary increase proposal for the public school teachers and non-teaching personnel is among the six priority bills of the Senate in its last six months of regular sessions.
The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is also a priority bill, according to Drilon when interviewed by DZRH News through Neil Ocampo’s “Arangkada Balita.”
“In the 16th Congress, we underscored the importance of education as a weapon to fight poverty. We passed the Ladderized Education Act, the Open Learning and Distance Education Act, and the Open High School System Act to enable those who have less in life to have more access to good education,” Drilon said.
The Iskolar ng Bayan Act accords top 10 public high school graduates with scholarships to State Universities and Colleges of their choice. This complements the “Fast-Tracked Science & Technology Scholarship Act” which the Senate passed in 2013.
Drilon also said the Enhanced Basic Education Act is now the cornerstone of the country’s learning system.
The “K to 12” program – which covers kindergarten, six years of primary education, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school – would provide the students sufficient time to master concepts and skills, and develop stronger fundamentals for college education.
“K to 12” also aligns our basic education program with those of other countries, Drilon also said.
“We will scrutinize the 2016 National Budget. We shall pass it on time as we have done in the past five years so that the government would not operate on a reenacted budget. If you recall, because of the reenacted budget, the previous administration converted the entire General Appropriations Act (GAA) into a single lump sum appropriation,” Drilon said. (Joel C. Atencio)