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Philippine House Passes Bill to Strengthen Parent-Teacher Associations

The Philippine House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at reinforcing the roles of Parent-Teacher and Community Associations (PTCA) in the holistic development of children. On Wednesday, the bill, known as House Bill (HB) 9670, received approval with 202 votes on its third and final reading. This legislation proposes amendments to Presidential Decree 603, also known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code.

According to Philippines News Agency, the bill underscores the legislature's commitment to promoting child welfare and protecting children's rights. By fostering collaboration among parents, teachers, school officials, and communities, the bill aims to ensure the protection and welfare of children. The measure mandates the organization of a PTCA in every early child development center and basic education school to serve as a platform for addressing educational issues and enhancing parental involvement in educational programs.

The PTCA will comprise parents, parent-substitutes, teachers, community development workers, and recognized community groups from various sectors, emphasizing the inclusion of fathers and male caregivers in its activities. Its responsibilities include assisting local authorities and school officials in child welfare advocacy, developing child development programs, consulting with children and their representatives on program planning and implementation, and supporting child protection policies in schools and communities.

The bill was co-authored by several lawmakers, including Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda K. Romualdez, Jude Acidre, BHW Party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, Quezon City Rep. Franz Pumaren, TGP Party-list Rep. Jose Teves Jr., Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado Revilla, and Parañaque City Rep. Edwin Olivarez.

In a related development, the House also unanimously passed HB 9726, the 'Expanded Philippine Science High School System Act,' with 217 votes. This bill seeks to double the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) campuses per region, restricting to one campus per province, to bolster the institution's role in secondary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Speaker Romualdez highlighted the bill's objective to make world-class STEM education more accessible to deserving Filipino students nationwide. The proposed law also empowers the PSHS Board of Trustees to develop policies ensuring the maintenance of educational standards across all PSHS campuses and outlines the management of income generated from school fees.