Private schools thank Duterte for ‘saving’ educational sector from collapse amid the pandemic

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), along with the country's largest associations of private schools, commended President Duterte for signing a law that aims to save the education sector from excessive taxes and collapse amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

(Photo from Unsplash)

COCOPEA Chairman Dr. Anthony Jose M. Tamayo, in a statement, expressed “profound gratitude” to the President signing into law the RA 11635.

“The enactment of this landmark legislation comes at a critical time when schools are in the middle of preparations for re-opening to face-to-face classes,” Tamayo said.

Signed by Duterte on Dec. 28, 2021, Tamayo noted that the RA 11635 will give private schools the “needed boost for sustainability in the school years ahead, and this allows them to fully focus on the learning crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic that our country is currently grappling with.”

COCOPEA represents over 2,500 private educational institutions with over 300,000 school personnel.

Extended lifeline

For COCOPEA Managing Director Joseph Noel M. Estrada, the enactment of RA 11635 “extends the lifeline to struggling private schools” during the pandemic.

“The millions of stakeholders of the private education sector and the linked ecosystem that depend on the continuity of our schools celebrate this momentous event not only for the education sector but for our entire country, no less,” Estrada said.

Estrada noted that the RA 11635 would also help ensure the continuity of learning for Filipino students, secure the jobs of teachers and personnel and provide livelihoods for the many small businesses --- such as carinderias and tricycle drivers --- who are dependent on the schools.

“Certainly, this newly enacted law in providing stability to education not only in this time of pandemic but also for generations to come is both crucial and complementary to any economic measure to revive our battered economy,” Estrada said.

Estrada explained that the new law amends Section 27 (B) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and secures with finality the grant of the preferential tax rate of 10 percent for proprietary schools --- including the temporarily lowered rate of 1 percent during the pandemic, under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE Act).

“It makes private schools qualified for a concessionary tax rate of one (1) percent under CREATE Act, instead of the 150-percent increase imposed by a recent regulation by the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” he added.

COCOPEA also thanked senators and congressmen who supported the passage of Senate and House bills that became RA 11635.

Aside from COCOPEA, the Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN), Association of Private, State Colleges, and Universities in Region XI (APSCUR XI), Bicol Association of Private Colleges and Universities (BAPCU), CESAFI Association of Cebu Private Schools also thanked Duterte for signing the new.