Lawmakers file second petition vs K to 12 before SC

Jee Y. Geronimo

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Lawmakers file second petition vs K to 12 before SC
The petitioners believe the law 'failed to comply with the 1987 Constitution' as far as consultations with stakeholders are concerned

MANILA, Philippines – Three lawmakers on Wednesday, May 6, filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking a suspension of the K to 12 program.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo party-list Representatives Francis Acedillo and Gary Alejano asked the High Court to issue a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order against K to 12.

The petitioners also want SC to declare the law as unconstitutional and/or illegal. Trillanes alleged the law “failed to comply with the 1987 Constitution” as far as consultations with stakeholders are concerned.

“The Petition emphasizes that no representative from the people most affected by the program, particularly students, college instructors, teachers and non-academic personnel, was invited to participate, or share their views and opinions during crafting of the law,” a statement from Trillanes’ office said.

The 40-page petition is the second filed before SC which seeks a suspension of the K to 12 program, after the petition filed by a coalition of educators on March 12. 

Trillanes, a staunch K to 12 critic, said the law must be suspended until “an adequate and comprehensive study” is done on the law’s impact, particularly on “already impoverished sectors of our society.”

Critics are particularly are worried about the expected massive displacement of teaching and non-teaching staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) come 2016. 

The first batch of students under K to 12 will enter senior high school’s grade 11 in 2016, and grade 12 in 2017.

Because of this, HEIs expect a drop in enrollment during these two years all the way to school year 2021-2022, when things are expected to normalize.

Latest estimates from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) showed 13,634 teaching staff and 11,456 non-teaching staff in HEIs may be displaced starting 2016. 

While both the Department of Education and CHED admitted displacements will likely happen, different government agencies are already working on safety nets to help these college workers. 

Magdalo’s Alejano, meanwhile, said the country should not risk its future “for a program that is likely to fail.” (READ: Suspend K to 12? But PH ready for it – Luistro–

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.