Senate Bill 1541: Extension for the reopening of schools in a state of emergency

Senate Bill 1541 allows the extension for the reopening of schools under the President’s disposal.

Extension for the reopening of schools

Opening the month of June, the Senate announces the passing of Senate Bill 1541, which gives the President absolute power to impose an extension for the reopening of schools while the country is still under a state of emergency.

A few weeks ago, the DepEd secretary announced the approved reopening of schools in the Philippines by August 24. But, just recently, the President announced that no classes would be allowed as long as no COVID-19 vaccine is discovered.

Days after, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque, confirmed that it was physical classes that President Duterte was referring to in his announcement.

As the debate on the schedule for the reopening of classes confuses parents and teachers, the government is ensuring the public that any decision they will come up with will be for the best interest of the people.

As of now, the August 24 reopening of classes is still pushing through. The extension will only take effect if, by August 24, the country is still in a state of a health emergency, then the President has the power to execute an extension for the reopening of schools.

The scope of Senate Bill 1541 overpowers Republic Act 7797, stating that “The school year is set to start between the first Monday of June up until the last day of August.” With the condition that it can only take effect during a state of national emergency.

DepEd approves Senate Bill

The Senate bill will still pass through a similar deliberation from the House of Representatives. Currently, House Bill 6895, containing the same contents of Senate Bill 1541, is already on second reading.

Teachers union agree with the passing of the bill, giving flexibility on the guidelines in coming up with a final date of reopening of schools that are considered safe for both teachers and students.

DepEd officials do not oppose the passing of the bill and in full support with the plans of the President, as the President shows the same level of support to the department’s endeavors.