22 May 2016
Government to subsidize senior high school program, says Palace official
A Palace official on Sunday has assured that the implementation of the senior high school program will be subsidized by the government.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said he was informed by Education Secretary Armin Luisto that the government subsidy is through the voucher system.

“The senior high school program, which will be offered this year, will include a government subsidy through the voucher system. Around 90 percent of all grade 11 enrollees in private schools, SUCs and LUCs will be voucher beneficiaries. Many senior high schools have announced they have no additional fees or top-up beyond the voucher amount. Of course, those that will enroll in the SH program in public schools will not need to pay any fees,” said Coloma quoting the Education secretary during a radio interview over Radyo ng Bayan.

Parents have expressed concern over the additional cost of sending their children to senior high school as required in the K-to-12 basic education program.

“Such concerns may have arisen from lack of information on and understanding of the policies and processes put in place by government to ensure a smooth transition into and full implementation of the K to 12 program, particularly on the inception of a senior high school program that will add two years, grades 11 and 12 to the free universal basic education program as mandated by the Constitution,” explained Coloma.

Coloma said the Department of Education has allocated a budget of around P12 billion to ensure that all Grade 10 graduates would be able to enter the senior high school program.

“Ayon naman po kay DepEd Undersecretary Reynaldo Laguda, naglaan ng sapat na pondo o budget ang DepEd na humigit kumulang sa 12 bilyong piso para sa tinatayang 1.5 milyong mag-aaral, 1.5 million students na papasok sa senior high school program. Tinitiyak ng DepEd na lahat ng mga nagtapos na sa grade 10 ay makatutungtong sa SHS program,” said Coloma.

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. PND (jm)

Malacanang confident on expeditious canvassing of votes for president and vice president
Malacanang has expressed confidence on the expeditious and impartial canvassing of votes for president and vice president by the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).

The House of Representatives, which will resume sessions on Monday following a three-month break, and the Senate are scheduled to meet on May 24 to form the NBOC, which is tasked to proclaim the country’s new president and vice president.

The canvassing will be held on May 25.

“Tiwala ang pamahalaan na gagampanan ng Kongreso bilang National Board of Canvassers ang kanilang tungkulin na tiyaking maging maayos, mabilis, patas at may integridad ang isasagawang canvassing ng mga boto para sa pangulo at pangalawang pangulo,” said Coloma during an interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte topped the presidential race while Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo won as vice president

The Palace official also noted the assurance given by the leadership of both chambers.

“Sa ating natunghayang pahayag ng liderato ng Senado at Kamara de Representantes, nagpahayag sila ng kahandaan na tapusin sa takdang panahon ang canvassing para sa agarang paghayag o pag-proklama ng mga nagwaging kandidato,” said Coloma.

Meanwhile, Coloma said there are no bills needing certification of urgency to be passed in Congress.

Coloma quoted Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Undersecretary Bernardito Sayo as saying that “No certification of urgency may be needed because most of the significant measures are already lined up for third reading and we may not have the time to finish floor deliberations on those that will be brought to the floor for the first time”. PND (jm)