Enhanced Education Act & DepEd Usec. Vilma Labrador’s Passing

Usec. Vilma Labrador

Usec. Vilma Labrador

Pres. Aquino

Pres. Aquino

The following, reprinted from the Senate of the Philippines website, details the legislative history of Senate Bill No. 3286, otherwise known as the “ENHANCED BASIC EDUCATION ACT OF 2012”, filed on September 24, 2012 by Senators Ralph G. Recto, Loren B. Legarda, Edgardo J. Angara, and Franklin M. Drilon:

AN ACT ENHANCING THE PHILIPPINE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM BY STRENGTHENING ITS CURRICULUM AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF YEARS FOR BASIC EDUCATION, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
[ THIRD REGULAR SESSION, 15TH CONGRESS ]
[ 2012 ]

  • 9/24/2012     Prepared and submitted jointly by the Committee(s) on EDUCATION, ARTS AND CULTURE, WAYS AND MEANS and FINANCE with Senator(s) RALPH G. RECTO, LOREN B. LEGARDA, EDGARDO J. ANGARA and FRANKLIN M. DRILON as author(s) per Committee Report No. 409, recommending its approval in substitution of SBN-2713, taking into consideration SBN-3258
  • 10/8/2012     Committee Report Calendared for Ordinary Business;
  • 10/8/2012     Sponsors: Senator(s) EDGARDO J. ANGARA, RALPH G. RECTO and FRANKLIN M. DRILON;
  • 10/8/2012     Transferred from the Calendar for Ordinary Business to the Calendar for Special Order;
  • 10/8/2012     Sponsorship speech of Senator EDGARDO J. ANGARA;
  • 10/8/2012     Senator LOREN B. LEGARDA was made as cosponsor;
  • 11/5/2012     Interpellation of Senator ANTONIO “SONNY” F. TRILLANES;
  • 11/5/2012     Period of interpellation closed;
  • 11/5/2012     Period of committee amendments closed;
  • 12/18/2012     Period of individual amendments;
  • 12/18/2012     Period of individual amendments closed;
  • 12/18/2012     Approved on Second Reading with Amendments;
  • 12/20/2012     Printed copies were distributed to the Senators;
  • [ 2013 ]
  • 1/21/2013     Approved on Third Reading;
  • 1/21/2013     In favor: (13) JOKER P. ARROYO, FRANKLIN M. DRILON, JINGGOY P. EJERCITO-ESTRADA, FRANCIS “CHIZ” G. ESCUDERO, TEOFISTO “TG” GUINGONA III, GREGORIO B. HONASAN II, PANFILO M. LACSON, LOREN B. LEGARDA, FERDINAND “BONGBONG” R. MARCOS, AQUILINO KOKO III L. PIMENTEL, RALPH G. RECTO, RAMON A. REVILLA JR. and VICENTE C. SOTTO III;
  • 1/21/2013     Against: (1) ANTONIO “SONNY” F. TRILLANES;
  • 1/21/2013     Abstention: N o n e;
  • 1/23/2013     Sent to the House of Representatives requesting for concurrence;
  • 1/23/2013     Senate requested the House of Representatives for a conference on the disagreeing provisions of SBN-3286 and HBN-6643, designating Senators Angara, Drilon, Villar, Revilla and Recto as its conferees to the Bicameral Conference Committee;
  • 1/30/2013     House of Representatives agreed for a conference on the disagreeing provisions of SBN-3286 and HBN-6643, designating Representatives Ocampo, Gunigundo I, Piamonte Jr., Sarmiento and Dimaporo as its conferees to the Bicameral Conference Committee on January 22, 2013;
  • 1/30/2013     Sponsorship speech on the conference committee report of Senator FRANKLIN M. DRILON;
  • 1/30/2013     Conference Committee Report submitted to the Senate, recommending that SBN-3286, in consolidation with HBN-6643 be approved as reconciled;
  • 1/30/2013     Conference Committee Report Approved by the Senate;
  • 2/5/2013     Conference Committee Report Approved by the House of Representatives on January 30, 2013;
  • 4/4/2013     Enrolled copies of the consolidated version of SBN-3286 and HBN-6643, sent to the House of Representatives for the signature of the Speaker and the Secretary General

The enhanced basic education program encompasses at least one (1) year of kindergarten education, six (6) years of elementary education, and six (6) years of secondary education, in that sequence. Secondary education includes four (4) years of junior high school and two (2) years of senior high school education.

Tucked in Sec. 9 of SBN 3286 is this all-important provision: “Medium of Instruction.The mother tongue of the learner also known as the first language (FL), home language, native language or vernacular shall be the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning from the kindergarten level to Grade 3 of the elementary education. The DepEd in coordination with the Commission on Filipino Language and in close collaboration with academic and research institutions concerned with education shall formulate a mother-tongue-based multilingual framework for teaching and learning in the kindergarten and elementary education.” You will recall that DepEd Order No. 74, otherwise known as “INSTITUTIONALIZING MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MLE)”, signed by former Education Secretary Jesli Lapus on July 14, 2009, with the courageous and skillful shepherding of the late DepEd Undersecretary Vilma L. Labrador, directed “The use of the learner’s First Language (L1) as the primary medium of instruction (MOI) from pre-school until, at least, grade three.  During such period, L1 shall be the main vehicle to teach understanding and mastery of all subject areas like Math, Science, Makabayan, and language subjects like Filipino and English.” As you can see, this is echoed by SBN 3286. It would appear that SBN-3286 is headed for eventual approval by President Benigno Aquino III, considering this is his pet legislation.

Now, look at the date of the last entry to the legislative history of SBN-3286:

4/4/2013     Enrolled copies of the consolidated version of SBN-3286 and HBN-6643, sent to the House of Representatives for the signature of the Speaker and the Secretary General

But look again at the date, 4/4/2013, when enrolled copies of the consolidated version of SBN-3286 and HBN-6643 were sent to the House of Representatives for the signature of the Speaker and the Secretary General. The next day, April 5, 2013, DepEd Undersecretary Vilma Labrador died. Call it a convenient truth or a fortuitous coincidence.

2 thoughts on “Enhanced Education Act & DepEd Usec. Vilma Labrador’s Passing

  1. I deeply thank Manong Joe Padre who despite the gulf of time and space as long time resident of Anaheim, California, has steadfastly guided, supported and inspired us since the beginning of the movement for Promoting mother tongue in basic education in the country of his birth. From a distance he has followed it with great interest and encouragement and we can see it in this masterly latest chronicle of the MLE Law that the Philippines will soon have and the most comprehensive legal instrument in the developing countries. God bless your heart and the work of your hands Manong Joe. This will soothe the pains of the bereaved family friends and colleagues of the late USec. Ate Vi Vilma Logronio Labrador including myself.

  2. I probably don’t deserve all these generous compliments from the CHED Deputy Executive Director, knowing full well that there are a whole lot of us who collaborated and still are collaborating in the effort to improve the kind of education our young get. I do express my eternal gratitude for the sentiments and for allowing me to participate in the process, albeit in my own humble way.

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