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Senate approves bill authorizing president to postpone classes

The Senate on Monday unanimously approved on final reading Senate Bill 1541 allowing the President emergency power to postpone classes later than August amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


The bill also seeks to amend Republic Act 7797 or "An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred(200) Days to Not More than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days."

The law originally mandates that classes start between the first Monday of June and the last day of August.

      Photo credits: Senator Win Gatchalian / Facebook
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who sponsor the measure thanked his colleagues for the support as the bill seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

"The immediate effect of this legislation would be to empower the President to move the start of the School Year 2020-2021 to September or even later in the event that public health authorities would recommend the postponement of the school year in order to contain the spread of COVID-19." said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.


View related story: Lawmaker: "Postpone classes till COVID-19 vaccine is available"

"Natutuwa po ako at nakapasa na sa senado ang panukalang batas na ito. Mahalaga ang pagpasok sa eskuwelahan ng mga bata, pero higit na mahalaga ang kanilang kaligtasan at kalusugan. Kaya bigyan po natin ng pagpapasya ang Pangulo ng Pilipinas at ang Kalihim ng Edukasyon upang baguhin ang petsa ng pasukan sa panahon ng pandemya habang walang kasiguraduhan sa kaligtasan at kalusugan ng kabataang Pilipino," Gatchalian added.

Senate Bill 1541 is a substitute bill consolidating proposals by Senators Joel Villanueva, Francis Tolentino, and Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III.


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