PASAY CITY, April 13, 2023 – To fast-track efforts and set the targeted reforms for the education sector, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) discussed priority areas and issues to be resolved to address the education crisis in the country on Thursday.

Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte welcomed suggestions from EDCOM II Commissioners and the Advisory Council in pushing for a transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms to further improve the country’s education system.

“In order to ensure quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for our learners, we need to strengthen and sustain our collective efforts as a nation. We still have a long way to go. We need to be resilient. We need to do more,” VP-Sec. Duterte said.

Meanwhile, EDCOM II Co-Chairperson Senator Sherwin Gatchalian highlighted the priority areas of EDCOM II, which include Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), basic education, teacher education and development, and governance and finance.

In line with this, DepEd provided plans and directions aligned with the MATATAG Agenda to address said issues presented by the EDCOM II, including the launch of National Education Portal, a recalibrated National Learning Recovery Plan (NLRP), and the incoming conduct of the National Learning Camp (NLC).

The Department also presented updates on the expansion of the GASTPE coverage, the creation of the Government Assistance and Subsidies Office (GASO), the conduct of a tracer study of Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners, and ongoing consultations for the National Mental Health Program.

“Through EDCOM II, we look forward to working with DepEd in transforming the Philippine basic education system. DepEd and EDCOM II can leverage their respective strengths and expertise to improve our country’s quality of education. Together, we can fulfill our vision of providing quality education to every Filipino learner,” Sen. Gatchalian said.

Before adjournment, DepEd and EDCOM II also sealed their Data Sharing Agreement through a Memorandum of Agreement.

Established by virtue of Republic Act No. 11899, EDCOM II is co-chaired by Sen. Gatchalian, Sen. Francis Escudero, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, and Baguio Rep. Mark Go. The commission is mandated to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector from 2023 to 2025.

EDCOM II commissioners are Sen. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Sonny Angara, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Khalid Dimaporo, and Cebu 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia.