MANILA – The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to certify House Bill No. 10308 or the Education Commission (EdCom) Bill as urgent.

The advocacy group also urged the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass the bill during the 18th Congress.

The EdCom Bill seeks to create a non-permanent body composed of academicians, private sector, teachers, school leaders, and education experts that will review the current condition of the education sector and recommend reforms.

“Proper representation in EdCom ensures that practical and theoretical expertise from the ground are heard. It also facilitates the implementation of reforms because the recipients are involved not just in the discussions, but in the outcomes,” PBEd chair Ramon del Rosario Jr. said in a press conference Thursday.

Del Rosario added that the EdCom Bill will also provide a blueprint on education for the country to help improve the welfare and learning outcomes of students.

The advocacy group also pushed for higher allocation of resources for education, the same investments that Southeast Asian countries do for their education sector.

“Let us prioritize our educators and encourage them to be the best and the brightest in their profession,” he added.

As the bill is facing time constraints as campaign period is nearing, PBEd president Chito Salazar said the government should find ways to get students back to school as soon as possible, address malnutrition, formation of an assessment agency, and continued support for the test and Senior High School vouchers.

Salazar added that these measures do not require bills but could help improve the education system.

“However, in long term, EdCom is vital because many of our problems are systemic in nature,” he said. (PNA)