Voting 23 in favor, the Senate on June 1 approved a consolidated bill authorizing the President to postpone the opening of classes beyond August, amending Republic Act 7797 to protect children from infecting the dreaded coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19).
The Senate approved Senate bill no. 1541 on the third and final reading, giving the President authority to postpone the opening of classes beyond August.
Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, co-author and sponsor of the measure, thanked his colleagues for recognizing the urgency of the proposed measure and giving their approval before the sine die adjournment.
Gatchalian said that should the proposed measure become a law before the opening of classes, the President and the Department of Education (DepEd) would have more flexibility to start the school year if COVID-19 cases continue to surge and threaten the safety of learners, teachers, and non-teaching personnel.
By amending Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) 7797 or “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days,” Senate Bill No. 1541 allows the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, to move the start of the school year during a state of emergency or calamity. Ernie Reyes