Villanueva says Senate ready to tackle education reforms with soon-to-be DepEd chief Sara Duterte

Published May 12, 2022, 3:31 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Re-electionist Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday, May 12 said it is the prerogative of the presumptive president to choose his Cabinet.

Villanueva, who is in the winning column of the May 9 senatorial race, issued the statement after presumptive President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. announced that presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio will be his Department of Education (DepEd) secretary.

‘’We are looking forward to seeing and studying the education platform of the incoming administration, and craft meaningful laws and policy for the education sector,’’ Villanueva said in a press statement.

Villanueva, who chairs the Senate labor and employment, and higher, technical and vocational education committees, said the Upper Chamber is ready to cooperate in improving the country’s educational system, starting with improving the welfare of the teachers.

‘’We believe that our teachers are the key to education reform and the knowledge crisis. They also bridge our studentry into a workforce that contributes to the nation’s development,’’ he added.

Villanueva pointed out that DepEd has a role in implementing landmark legislation, such as the ones he authored and sponsored, like the Excellence in Teacher Education Act, Philippine Qualifications Framework Act, the proposed Second Congressional Commission on Education, and others.

‘’We’re ready to help evaluate, tweak, or even introduce new initiatives to continue education reform under the leadership of soon-to-be Education Secretary Sara Duterte,’’ he stressed.

On reports that the voting process has been delayed in some areas, ‘’we ask the DepEd to give additional honoraria and allowances to volunteer teachers who worked overtime past 8 hours as poll workers on election day,’’ Villanueva said.

‘’Their allowance should be commensurate to the weight of responsibility they have performed this election period. It should also factor in the ever-present threat to their safety every election day, and threat to their health because of the pandemic,’’ he said.

‘’We also ask the Comelec (Commission on Elections) to give the volunteer teachers their allowances within 15 days after elections, as prescribed by law,’’ he added.