DepEd bares top 3 legislative priorities; bilingual style of teaching one of them

Published August 10, 2022, 5:36 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III sought from the House of Representatives Wednesday, Aug. 10 the passage of three proposed laws from the agency’s legislative agenda.

DepEd Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III (Screenshot from Zoom)

Densing led the DepEd officials who attended the first hearing of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture on Wednesday morning. The hearing was presided by panel chairman Pasig City lone district Rep. Roman Romulo.

On top of the legislative agenda mentioned by Densing was the return of the bilingual style of teaching using English and Filipino.

“One is already mentioned by the President for the consideration of the committee, for the return of a bilingual type of a medium of instruction using English and Filipino as the medium of instruction thereby amending Republic Act 10533 which is the K-12 Act,” the undersecretary told the panel.

Densing said this would make the Mother Tongue auxiliary or secondary language.

“The general rule is English and Filipino, with the exemption Mother Tongue–which van be used in areas where English and Filipino are really not the language or the vernacular of the community. It’s only where the Mother Tongue can be used,” he said.

The second item on DepEd’s legislative agenda has to do with the discussion on the possible return of the reserve officers’ training corps or ROTC program.

Densing is seeking clarification on the coverage of the mandatory ROTC, specifically on whether it will only involve senior high school students or also those from higher education institutions.

He said the department is also coordinating with the Commission on Higher Education on the matter.

Rounding off DepEd’s top three legislative priorities is its call for solons to amend the Local Government Code provision on the Special Education Fund (SEF).

“As of today, [the SEF] has a limited menu. So we want to expand the menu and of course increase the 1 percent SEF of the real property taxes to 2 percent, Mr. Chair. So those are the top three,” Densing said.

Vice President Sara Duterte, the concurrent DepEd secretary, was unable to attend the committee hearing.