IT is too early to say whether Congress is willing to boost accessibility to education of underserved sectors of Philippine society such as out-of-school youths (OSYs) and persons with disability (PWDs).
What is certain is that the proposed “Alternative Learning System Act” is nearing final approval in the House of Representatives, according to Leyte 1st District Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez.
Romualdez is author of House Bill (HB) No. 3706, which is one of the consolidated measures that seek to address all the learning needs of marginalized learners in the country.
A nurse and wife of former Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, a lawyer and banker by profession, Ms. Romualdez is vice chair of the House committee on government enterprises and privatization.
The highly-articulate and workaholic lady lawmaker said the House of Representatives has passed on second reading the “malasakit” (compassionate) “Alternative Learning System Act.”
“This is to provide a viable learning alternative to the formal education system that will address all learning needs of marginalized learners,” she said following the approval of the consolidated measure under HB No. 7392.
Romualdez said the measure will help institutionalize an alternative learning system for indigent adults, OSYs, indigenous people, persons with disability and special needs and senior citizens.
Romualdez also recalled that the compassionate Republic Act (RA) 10754, principally authored by her husband Martin, exempts PWDs from 12-percent value added tax (VAT) payment.
Under Martin’s “malasakit” or compassionate piece of legislation, more than 1.5 million PWDs across the Philippines are exempted from the payment of VAT on certain goods and services.
Aside from Ms. Romualdez, other authors of the consolidated bill are Reps. Aurelio Gonzales, Tom Villarin, Salvador Belaro Jr., Florida Robes, Victoria Isabel Noel, Bernadette Herrera Dy and LRay Villafuerte.
Congress ought to fast-track the approval of the proposed “Alternative Learning System Act.”