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Gatchalian pushes Magna Carta for out-of-school youth to fulfill PH commitments under ASEAN declaration

Out of school youth attend a special enrichment activity thru the Alternative Learning System (ALS) at the Valenzuela City People’s Park, file photo April 2015. The local government enlisted the children, who were seen staying at the park for prolonged hours, to the program of the Department of Education to enjoin them to go back to school. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

Senator Win Gatchalian renewed his call for the passage of a Magna Carta for Out-of-School Youth, explaining that his proposed measure would help the Philippine government fulfill its commitments under the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth (OOSCY).

 The ASEAN Declaration on OOSCY, adopted by the Philippines and the other ASEAN member-states on September 8 at the ASEAN summit in Laos, affirmed the commitment of ASEAN members to adopting legislation aimed at ensuring inclusive access to quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“The ASEAN Declaration on OOSCY demonstrates Southeast Asia’s commitment to ensuring educational access to all peoples. Passing the Magna Carta for Out-of-School Youth will help the Philippines turn this commitment into a tangible reality,” said Gatchalian, the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture.

Gatchalian’s Magna Carta for Out-of-School Youth (OSY), filed as Senate Bill No. 1000 last August, establishes an aggressive affirmative action program aimed at providing out-of-school youth with expanded government assistance to all types of education, including school-based educational opportunities from the primary to tertiary levels, non-formal education under the Alternative Learning System, and technical-vocational training.

In addition, the Magna Carta provides for a comprehensive system of rights which would entitle OSYs to greater access to basic social services, including health and job-matching.

“Out-of-school youth are some of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our society. The passage of this Magna Carta would play a pivotal role in helping our government fulfill its responsibility to give these underprivileged Filipino youth the opportunity to build a brighter future for themselves,” said Gatchalian.