At a well-attended emergency meeting last night in the German Club convened by Jose Campos of PAPSCU, Chair of the COCOPEA Committee on Legislation, and by Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J., Chair of the COCOPEA Committee on Advocacy, the earlier-formulated draft of Proposed Legislation on the Implementation of K+12 was discussed and approved with relatively minor changes incorporated in the text below. Prior to the meeting, Fr. Tabora had spoken with Brother Armin Luistro on the drafted Bill; this draft represents substantially a framework of the K+12 reform. Atty. Estrada, who drafted and re-drafted the legislative proposal, will meet with the legal people of the DepEd in order to assure maximum coordination between the COCOPEA and the DepEd. The hope is that our Education President, Benigno Aquino III, shall certify this Bill as urgent.
The draft is presented here for the appreciation and comments of all.
Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
First Regular Session
House Bill No. ____
Introduced by _____________________________
AN ACT ENHANCING THE PHILIPPINE BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM, PROVIDING GUIDELINES FOR ITS IMPLEMENTATION, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Short Title: This Act shall be known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2011”.
SECTION 2. Declaration- The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and promotes their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. The State further recognizes that basic education plays a vital role in the inculcation of these values, morals, and the shaping of an individual’s character at the early stage of ones life.
It is also a declared policy of the State to establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society.
Pursuant to these mandates, the State shall ensure, through a synchronized education agenda and a multi-sector initiative, the achievement of the goals and objectives of an enhanced basic education program.
SECTION 3. Purposes and Objectives. The purposes and objectives of this Act are:
a) Enhance Philippine basic education cycle by adding two (2) years.
b) Provide mechanisms to ensure adequate preparation of its graduates for responsible participation in society through productive employment and family life, and for further tertiary education.
c) Ensure that the Philippine education program is pedagogically appropriate to the country’s needs.
d) Ensure that the Philippine education program is aligned with international standards in such manner that graduates of the program are duly accorded international recognition, both in the number of school years and the subject content should they desire to work, practice a profession, or pursue further education here and abroad.
SECTION 4. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this Act, the terms and phrases used shall mean or be understood as follows:
a) Basic Education Program- is kindergarten, elementary and secondary education, and career academy intended to provide every child’s basic learning needs that enable the child to achieve the mastery of core competencies and skills for productive work in society, or entrepreneurship or tertiary education.
b) Kindergarten- It is the first step in the basic education program. As such, its completion is a mandatory requirement for admission to Grade 1. Its subjects, programs, and curricula are under the governance of the DepEd.
c) Elementary education is the first six  years of basic education after Kindergarten, the completion of which is attested by a certificate issued by or with permission of the Department of Education.
d) Secondary education is the next four  years of basic education, the completion of which is attested by a high school diploma issued by or with permission of the Department of Education.
e) Career Academy and Pre-Tertiary Education- is the two (2) year post-secondary education and the last step in the basic education program. It provides the professional and human education necessary for the practice of chosen careers either immediately after graduation or after further tertiary education, depending on the career chosen. The completion of this education is attested by a certificate or diploma issued by or with permission of the DepEd.
f) Tertiary Education – is the set of higher education years meant to further the professional preparation of graduates for tertiary education, for meaningful careers, and for responsible participation in society.
SECTION 5. Synchronization of all Education Reform Agenda.
In pursuit of the objectives in Section 3 hereof, this Act mandates a synchronized enhancement of basic education under the Department of Education in close coordination with the other education agencies, the CHED and the TESDA, as well as with related agencies such as the DOLE, the PRC, and the DILG.
SECTION 6. Participation and Support of Stakeholders. This Act further encourages participation and support of private education associations, schools and universities, administrators, faculty, trainors, and other educators; parents and guardians; and students to achieve the goals and objectives of this Act from the formulation of curricula to its actual implementation.
SECTION 7. Multi-Sector Initiatives. In furtherance of the objectives of this Act, participation is further encouraged from the employer federations and associations; chambers of commerce; corporations and businesses; and commercial establishments in the determination of the core competencies, skills, and knowledge required of specific industries or trade for job and business opportunities of graduates.
SECTION 8. Implementation by Phase. The implementation of the enhanced basic education cycle shall be by phase. The enhanced kindergarten education shall be offered in the school year immediately succeeding the effectivity of this Act. The enhanced elementary and secondary education shall start by offering simultaneously the new curriculum for Grade 1 and the new curriculum for First Year High School after two school years from the effectivity of this Act. The Career Academy and Pre-Tertiary Education shall be offered after five (5) school years from the effectivity of this Act.
SECTION 9. Management of Transition The implementation referred to in Section 8 hereof shall ensure a smooth transition from the old program to the enhanced program without disruption or that which is less disruptive in the continuity of school years.
ENHANCEMENT OF THE BASIC EDUCATION CURRICULA
SECTION 10. Formulation of the Basic Education Curricula. The heart of an enhanced basic education program is an enhanced curriculum that is adequate and internationally recognized both in the number of required years and in content.
SECTION 11. Curriculum Task Force. Immediately upon effectivity of this Act, the DepEd shall constitute a multi-agency task force to design the enhanced basic education curriculum and details of its implementation.
SECTION 12. Two-Fold Function of the Task Force. The primary function of the Task Force is two-fold: enhancement of the basic education curriculum, and management of the transition from the old to the new curriculum.
SECTION 13. Role of the Task Force. The Task Force shall have the following roles:
a) Provide guidance on the strategic direction of the enhanced basic education program;
b) Approve key milestone activities of initial and full implementation;
c) Oversee the progress of the different components of the program implementation;
d) Prepare reports and documentation on the program’s progress;
e) Adopt an implementation plan and other relevant policies; and
f) Address any and all issues that have major implications on the program.
SECTION 14. Composition. This task force shall be headed by the Secretary of Education as Chair with the following members:
a) Chair of CHED
b) Director General of TESDA
c) Secretary of NEDA
d) Secretary of the DOLE
e) Secretary of DSWD
SECTION 14.1. The task force shall summon the participation of the resource persons from the following sectors:
a) Academe-both public and private
b) School Association, both public and private
f) Chambers of Commerce
g) Employer Associations
h) Employee Associations
SECTION 14.2 Rules and Guidelines of the Task Force. The Task Force shall adopt its own guidelines and rules of procedure to facilitate the conduct of its proceedings.
SECTION 14.3 Technical Working Groups. The Task Force shall create a Technical Working Group to review the basic education curricula; determine the subjects to be taught in the respective levels; create the structure and content of the enhanced basic education program; provide mechanisms to ensure continuity of its implementation and integration to whole education cycle; and to provide other measures to ensure that the enhanced curriculum is adequate, capable of mutual international recognition, and least disruptive.
SECTION 15. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The Department of Education as the lead agency in the administration and enforcement of this Act, and in coordination with the CHED and TESDA and other government agencies shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations.
SECTION 16. Funding. The President of the Republic of the Philippines is hereby authorized to realign or transfer any item of appropriation in the DepEd budget and/or utilize any savings therein to implement and carry out the purposes of this Act. Thereafter, the annual GAA shall provide for the continuity of implementation of this Act.
SECTION 17. Separability Provision – In case any part or provision of this Act be held invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining parts or provisions unaffected shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION 18. Repealing Clause – All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations, or parts or provisions thereof inconsistent with any provision of this Act shall be deemed repealed or modified accordingly
SECTION 19. Effectivity – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.