President Rodrigo Duterte will not meddle with the decision of the House of Representatives to review the effectiveness of K to 12 basic education program.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano bared that the House has reached a consensus that K to 12 “is not living to its promise.”
“We will leave it to the wisdom of Congress,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Monday.
Although Duterte’s youngest daughter, Veronica, fondly called Kitty, has mentioned that she preferred that the K to 12 program would be scrapped, Panelo said it was just her personal opinion.
“Iyon ang sabi ng bata but siyempre (That’s what the child prefers but of course), it’s Congress that will decide,” he added.
Cayetano said despite the promise that K to 12 would prepare students for future employment, many public schools might not be ready for K to 12 due to lack of classrooms, facilities, equipment, and personnel.
Last May, the Department of Education (DepEd) said it has no plan to repeal K to 12 and stood pat on its claim that it is a “prompt necessity”, warning that pushing it back might prove detrimental to increasing demands on education.
It clarified that reported plans to repeal K to 12 are misinformed and different from the plan of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to “review and change the system for its K to 12 transition program.
“These two are not one and the same. The implementation of the K to 12 Program has seen numerous gains for the basic education system,” the DepEd said.
DepEd attributed to K to 12 the results of the Senior High School (SHS) Program which surpassed expectations in enrollment and transition rates.
Hands off House term-sharing
Meanwhile, Panelo said Duterte will also keep his hands off claims that the term-sharing agreement between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco may not push through because of the former’s high approval and trust ratings.
“Again, that is between the members of Congress; we will not interfere,” Panelo said.
It was Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, who first raised the possibility that the term-sharing agreement might be scuttled, following Cayetano’s 64-percent approval and 62-percent trust ratings in the Pulse Asia survey.
“They’re entitled to their perception — it may be true, it may not be true. But as far as the President is concerned, he does not want to interfere in any act or measure or activity in a co-equal branch,” Panelo said.
Last July, Duterte has endorsed Cayetano and Velasco under term-sharing for House speakership with Cayetano to serve in the first 15 months, and Velasco in the remaining 21 months of the 18th Congress.
Panelo said the only reason Duterte stepped in on the Speakership race is because his suggestion was sought by the contenders.
“Natapos na iyong papel ni Presidente doon eh (The President’s role ended there),” Panelo said. (PNA)