Senator Win Gatchalian will keep his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture in the 19th Congress.
Gatchalian vowed to continue his pursuit of reforms that will address the education crisis and improve the performance of the country’s learners. Among his priorities are the full resumption of face-to-face classes, the review of the K to 12 system, and upholding the welfare of teachers.
Gatchalian also vowed to exercise the Senate’s oversight power on the implementation of landmark laws that he sponsored in the 18th Congress. These include the Alternative Learning System Act (Republic Act No. 11510), the Excellence in Teacher Education Act (Republic Act No. 11713), and Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education Act (Republic Act No. 11650).
The lawmaker also sponsored the proposed measure on the creation of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II), which seeks to conduct a national assessment and evaluation of the Philippine education sector’s performance.
Gatchalian pressed the urgency of resuming face-to-face classes to address learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) estimates that two years of school closures will result in P22 trillion in productivity losses.
To uphold the welfare of teachers, Gatchalian has urged the incoming administration to ensure the full implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (Republic Act No. 4670).
For Gatchalian, the incoming administration should prioritize raising teacher salaries and ensuring adequate health insurance for teachers. He added that the Department of Education (DepEd) should follow the recommendation of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) to conduct studies on teachers’ workload, which will rationalize the job function of public school teachers and allow them to allocate more time for teaching.
Gatchalian recently presented Committee Report No. 645 on the inquiry of the Senate basic education panel on the implementation of the Magna Carta, which the Senate adopted.
“Sa ating pagpapatuloy bilang Chairman ng Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, bibigyan natin ng prayoridad ang pagtugon sa krisis sa sektor ng edukasyon. Sa pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon mula sa hagupit ng pandemya, iaangat natin ang kalidad ng edukasyon at itataguyod ang kapakanan ng ating mga guro,” said Gatchalian.