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Monday, May 18, 2015

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10649 | AN ACT INCREASING THE BURIAL ASSISTANCE FOR VETERANS

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10649]

AN ACT INCREASING THE BURIAL ASSISTANCE FOR VETERANS FROM TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10,000.00) TO TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20,000.00), AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6948, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “AN ACT STANDARDIZING AND UPGRADING THE BENEFITS FOR MILITARY VETERANS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS” AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Section 20 of Republic Act No. 6948, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 20. Burial Assistance. – Unless the person who defrayed the expenses for the funeral of a deceased veteran is entitled to a similar benefit from the United States Government, he or she shall be given Twenty thousand pesos (P20.000.00) as burial assistance upon application therefor in due form which shall be filed within two (2) years from the death of the veteran concerned.”

SEC. 2. Appropriations. – The amount necessary for the initial implementation of this Act shall be charged against the current year’s appropriations for burial expenses of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO). Thereafter, the amount necessary for the continued implementation shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

SEC. 3. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

(Sgd.)FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate
(Sgd.)FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
of Representatives

This Act which originated in the House of Representatives was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 19, 2014 and September 15, 2014, respectively.

(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate
(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives

Approved: NOV 27 2014
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10648 | ISKOLAR NG BAYAN ACT OF 2014

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10648]

AN ACT PROVIDING SCHOLARSHIP GRANTS TO TOP GRADUATES OF ALL PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS IN STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Iskolar ng Bayan Act of 2014″.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the declared policy of the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality and accessible education at all levels and to establish and maintain a financial assistance system that shall be available to deserving students, especially the underprivileged.

For this purpose, the government shall democratize access to higher education by institutionalizing a college scholarship program to be named the “Iskolar ng Bayan Program” for top graduates of public high schools in the country, subject to the academic standards, application and admission policies and such other reasonable rules and regulations of state universities and colleges (SUCs).

SEC. 3. Coverage. – The academic scholarships provided under the “Iskolar ng Bayan Program”, hereinafter referred to as the Program, shall cover all public high school students belonging to the top ten (10) of the graduating class, based on the guidelines and criteria set by the Department of Education (DepED), who will enroll in SUCs as freshmen: Provided, That they meet the admission requirements of the SUCs where they intend to enroll in.

A public high school with more than five hundred (500) graduates shall be entitled to one (1) additional scholarship slot in SUCs for every five hundred (500) graduates. The additional slots shall be given to graduates whose ranks immediately follow the top ten (10) students and who will enroll in SUCs after meeting the admission requirements for freshmen.

SEC. 4. Admission in SUCs. Any public high school student who belongs to the top ten (10) bracket of the graduating class shall be entitled to the scholarship grant provided under this Act in any SUC of choice upon compliance with the following conditions:

(a) The student has graduated from any public high school in the country within two (2) years prior to the academic year being applied for in the SUC;

(b) The student has complied with the application requirements of the SUC;

(c) The student’s rank is reported by the public high school principal or administrator in a certificate bearing the name of the school and its location, the number of students, the rank of the student applicant in the graduating class, and other relevant information; and

(d) After taking the entrance examination in the chosen SUC, the student has obtained a rating which has been designated by the SUC as the minimum rating for a student to be able to qualify for the scholarship program.

Provided: That for the next six (6) years in the implementation of this Act, beginning SY 2015-2016, admission to their SUCs of choice within their region shall be automatic for the top ten (10) graduating students of public high schools.

SEC. 5. Limitation in the Acceptance of Top Public High School Graduates by SUCs. All SUCs shall provide scholarships to qualified public high school graduates under this Act: Provided, That the applicants have successfully passed the entrance examination and have complied with the admission requirements of the SUCs.

The SUC, however, may limit the number of students to be admitted under this Act if the number of applicants eligible and applying for admission exceeds by more than five percent (5%) the average number of first-time freshmen admitted to the SUCs during the first two (2) academic years preceding the entry of the applicant.

The Commision on Higher Education (CHED) and the concerned SUCs shall establish the appropriate guidelines in the acceptance of top public high school graduates.

SEC. 6. Support to the Program. – The following government agencies/entities shall provide support for the effective implementation of the Program:

I. Government Agencies – these government agencies shall implement the following mandates:

(a) CHED

(1) Conduct a review of the number of graduating public high school students in each province to ensure that the SUCs therein have the capacity to absorb the Iskolars ng Bayan;

(2) Together with the SUCs, develop a system, including the appointment of advisers, which shall provide assistance and guidance to the scholars in the determination of the appropriate course and the SUC which will best suit their aspirations and strengths; and

(3) Ensure the SUCs’ compliance with the law.

(b) DepED

(1) Disseminate information to all public high schools on the implementation of the Program and the availability of scholarship slots;

(2) Conduct a census of the number of graduating public high school students in each province for submission to the CHED;

(3) Identify the top ten (10) graduates in each public high school, as well as the additional top graduates in case the public high school has more than five hundred (500) graduates;

(4) Provide timely reminders about the Program to all public high schools towards the second half of the school year in order to give the prospective top graduates ample preparation time to apply for the Program; and

(5) Ensure compliance by all public high schools.

(c) SUCs

(1) Provide information to the faculty, administrative officials and staff, and parents about the Program;

(2) Inform the CHED of their capacity to absorb the students applying under the Program;

(3) Provide a summer bridge program, should the scholar fail to meet the academic admission requirements for his or her preferred course, in order to enable the scholar to comply with the minimum academic requirements and/or allow the scholar to enroll in another course; and

(4) Ensure that full assistance is granted to the scholars to enable them to avail of the Program.

II. Local Government Units (LGUs) – LGUs are encouraged to create their own scholarship program.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is encouraged to submit an annual report to the SUCs in their respective province or region containing projections on employment opportunities and job openings.

III. Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) – PHEIs are encouraged to create their own version of the Program.

IV. Private Corporations – Private corporations are encouraged to support the Program under their corporate social responsibility projects.

SEC. 7. Limitations of the Program. The scholarship grant provided under this Act shall be limited to the full amount of tuition and other school fees for the first year of college. Thereafter, the student beneficiary shall be covered by the regular student financial assistance and scholarship programs of the CHED, if qualified, subject to the guidelines that the CHED may provide.

SEC. 8. Reportorial Requirements of SUCs. – Each SUC shall report annually to the CHED on or before a date set by the Commission. The report shall include the number of students admitted under the Program, the courses they are enrolled in, their academic standing and other relevant information that will help improve the Program. The CHED shall also provide Congress a copy of the report.

SEC. 9. Performance Monitoring and Impact Assessment. – The Program shall be evaluated rigorously by the CHED in terms of its impact on desired results and its progress towards achieving them shall be monitored regularly. The CHED shall clearly define those results and their target values. Impact evaluation shall be measured against, among others:

(a) Education outcomes such as enrolment in all SUCs and number of graduates;

(b) Economic indicators such as income and employment; and

(c) Indicators for contributions to community service and public good.

Performance and progress shall, in addition, be measured with regard to: (a) number of students covered by the program; (b) quality of SUCs enrolled in; and (c) economic status upon enrolment. Tracer studies and survey data for experimental and quasi-experimental analyses shall be undertaken to produce credible impact evaluation studies, as may be determined by the CHED: Provided, That the Program is to be evaluated every five (5) years from the date of its implementation.

SEC. 10. Appropriations. The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the budget of the CHED or the concerned SUCs in the annual General Appropriations Act.

SEC. 11. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The CHED and the DepED, in consultation with relevant stakeholders in higher education, shall issue within sixty (60) days after the effectivity of this Act, the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.

SEC. 12. Separability Clause. – If any part or provision of this Act shall be held unconstitutional or invalid, other provisions thereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

SEC. 13. Repealing Clause. All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are not consistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

SEC. 14. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

 (Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
of Representatives
(Sgd.) FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2275 and House Bill No. 4860 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on September 23, 2014 and September 24, 2014, respectively.

(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives
(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate

Approved: NOV 27 2014

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10647 | LADDERIZED EDUCATION ACT OF 2014

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10647]

AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE LADDERIZED INTERFACE BETWEEN TECHNICAL-VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING AND HIGHER EDUCATION

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Ladderized Education Act of 2014″.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – In line with the constitutional guarantee for the State to promote the right of all citizens to quality and accessible education at all levels and to establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and contributory to national development, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to institutionalize the ladderized interface between technical-vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education to open the pathways of opportunities for career and educational progression of students and workers, create a seamless and borderless system of education, empower students and workers to exercise options or to choose when to enter and exit in the educational ladder, and provide job platforms at every exit as well as the opportunity to earn income.

The State likewise recognizes and supports the promotion and protection of the inherent academic freedom enjoyed by all institutions of higher learning. For this purpose, the government shall uphold the academic standards, equity principles, promptness and consistency of the applications/ admissions and equivalency policies of higher education institutions (HEIs).

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act, the following terms are hereby defined:

(a) Articulation refers to a process which allows students to make the smooth transition from one (1) course, program or educational level to the next without experiencing duplication of learning. The guiding principle of articulation is that no student should repeat the same course content for which credit has already been received, even if elsewhere or from another institution. In general, articulated programs provide multiple entry and exit points and ladders of learning opportunities and allows a student to move from a technical-vocational course to a college degree program, using the principle of credit transfer;

(b) Credit refers to the value given to a particular course or subject, based on competencies and learning outcomes;

(c) Credit transfer refers to a credit conversion established to promote student mobility by ensuring that units earned from different modalities are credited by the institutions;

(d) Embedded TVET Qualification in a Ladderized Degree Program refers to the process of determining the TVET competencies or qualifications that lead to job platforms in the relevant higher education or bachelor’s degree program. Full TVET qualification can still be earned even if a student of a ladderized degree program chooses to exit from the program and get a job;

(e) Equivalency refers to a process that involves assigning equivalent academic credits to the competencies demonstrated by a student through assessment tests, thereby providing entry points to the next higher level qualification, the purpose of which is to provide opportunities to the student to continue to learn and to re-enter the educational program at a higher level without having to unnecessarily retake courses on which a student has already demonstrated competence and knowledge;

(f) Job platform refers to the gateway in the ladderized curriculum which one reaches upon acquiring enough skills and knowledge to seek and find employment;

(g) Ladderized education refers to the harmonization of all education and training mechanisms that allow students and workers to progress between technical-vocational and higher education programs, or vice-versa. It opens opportunities for career and educational advancement to students and workers. It creates a seamless and borderless education and training system that will allow transfers in terms of flexible entry and exit between technical-vocational and higher education programs in the post-secondary school educational system;

(h) Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) is a national policy which describes the levels of educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualifications outcomes. It is a quality assured national system for the development, recognition and award of qualifications based on standards of knowledge, skills and values acquired in different ways and methods by learners and workers of a certain country;

(i) Qualification refers to a formal certification that a person has successfully achieved specific learning outcomes relevant to the identified academic, industry or community requirements; and

(j) Recognition of prior learning refers to the acknowledgment of a person’s skills and knowledge through previous training, work or life experience, which may be used to grant status or credit for acquired competencies.

SEC. 4. Philippine Qualifications Framework. – The PQF has the following objectives:

(a) Adoption of national standards and levels for outcomes of education;

(b) Supporting the development and maintenance of pathways and equivalencies, which provide access to qualifications and assist people to move easily and readily between the different education and training sectors and between these sectors and the labor market; and

(c) Alignment with international qualifications framework to support the national and international mobility of workers through increased recognition of the value and comparability of Philippine qualifications.

The PQF National Coordinating Committee (PQF-NCC) is composed of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Education (DepED), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and is chaired by DepED.

In the development of ladderized education, the CHED, TESDA and DepED are hereby mandated to closely coordinate and effectively implement a unified PQF that establishes equivalency pathways and access ramps allowing for easier transitions and progressions between TVET and higher education. The framework shall include qualifications and articulation mechanisms, such as, but not necessarily limited to the following: credit transfer, embedded TVET qualification in ladderized degree programs, post-TVET bridging programs, enhanced equivalency, adoption of ladderized curricula/programs, and accreditation and/or recognition of prior learning.

For this purpose, the CHED, TESDA and DepED shall design harmonized guidelines and equivalency competency courses to enhance the delivery of high-quality technical-vocational and higher education courses, synchronize standards and upgrade curriculum design per discipline and adopt a strategic implementation scheme, including a massive consultation and information dissemination scheme. In so doing, the CHED, TESDA and DepED shall continue exploring and developing other mechanisms and systems that will allow the interface between TVET and higher education with the end in view of creating a seamless and borderless education system.

SEC. 5. Priority Disciplines. – As a preliminary approach to the implementation of the ladderized program and to ensure its more focused implementation, the CHED, TESDA and DepED, in consultation with the industry, the DOLE, the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and other related agencies, and consistent with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) are directed to identify priority disciplines and programs for ladderization, taking into account labor market realities. The CHED, TESDA and DepED shall implement the ladderization of other disciplines, other than those presently being implemented, should these be found necessary and beneficial based on a comprehensive study of their viability.

SEC. 6. Enhancement of the Ladderized Education Program (LEP). – The CHED, TESDA and DepED, in consultation with the PRC and the industries, as applicable, are directed to jointly devise systems, procedures, and mechanisms, as well as to issue, amend and update existing implementing guidelines, as necessary, for the efficient and effective implementation of the LEP and to ensure that the objectives of the program are met. Incentives may be given to HEIs and technical-vocational institutions to further encourage wider participation in the LEP.

The CHED, TESDA and DepED shall ensure that there are designated personnel at the regional and provincial levels responsible for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the LEP nationwide.

SEC. 7. Support from Other Government Agencies. – The PRC, DOLE, DA, DOST, DTI, NEDA, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other related agencies are hereby mandated to extend the necessary support and provide relevant inputs towards the effective implementation of the ladderized system of education.

SEC. 8. Scholarships, Grants and Loans. – To ensure the effective implementation and greater nationwide impact of the program and its accessibility to the students and workers, the CHED, TESDA and DepED shall include in their respective budgets the provision of scholarships, grants and loans to deserving students and workers availing themselves of the ladderized system of education, in addition to the present scholarship programs being implemented by the CHED and TESDA.

SEC. 9. Enabling Clause for HEIs. – To encourage the widest enjoyment of the benefit of ladderized education, HEIs whose curricula have been recognized by the CHED may avail of the ladderization program: Provided, That the minimum curricular requirements under the joint guidelines of the CHED, TESDA and DepED are complied with and duly certified by these agencies prior to the formal offering of the ladderized education programs.

For this purpose, the HEI shall be required to submit to the CHED Regional Office a copy of the curriculum for the proposed ladderized program for monitoring, compliance and for potential objective inputs from their technical experts. The CHED shall be responsible for transmitting the curricula submitted by the HEIs to the PQF-NCC for their reference. Failure of the HEIs to submit this requirement shall be subject to administrative sanctions to be imposed by the CHED.

SEC. 10. Academic Freedom. – Nothing in this Act shall be construed as restricting the HEI in the exercise of its academic freedom. The HEI shall retain the right to assess the level and standard of previously completed TVET programs by an applicant-student in a manner that is transparent and objective, incorporating therein its own admission requirements. The applicant-student must gain admission to the HEI’s undergraduate program by meeting the prescribed criteria and program requisites and such other requirements by the HEI.

SEC. 11. Appropriations. The amount necessary for the initial implementation of this Act shall be sourced from the current budgets and development funds of the CHED, TESDA and DepED. Thereafter, the funds necessary for the continuous implementation of this Act in the ensuing years shall be included in the respective annual appropriations of the CHED, TESDA and DepED in the General Appropriations Act.

SEC. 12. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The CHED, TESDA and DepED, in consultation with relevant stakeholders in higher and technical-vocational education, shall issue within sixty (60) days after the effectivity of this Act, the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.

SEC. 13. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act or any part hereof shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other provisions, as far as they are separable, shall remain in force and effect.

SEC. 14. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

SEC. 15. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
of Representatives
(Sgd.) FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2272 and House Bill No. 3575 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on September 24, 2014.

(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives
(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate

Approved: NOV 21 2014

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines