An EDCOM 2 bill filed by EDCOM 2 Commissioner Representative Francisco “Kiko” Benitez seeks to align early childhood education and basic education in the Philippines.
Asked during a Rappler interview what the intentions of the law are, Rep. Benitez said that “the first is obviously an alignment between the expectations from DepEd, and what we might expect early childhood care and development centers have as their outcomes”.
Benitez also cited the proposal to include the Department of Interior and Local Government in the composition of the Council. “There are provisions in there to ensure that the DILG is the vice-chair of the [ECCD] Council”, he said.
In the current structure of the Council, the roles of government agencies were divided based on the age of the children being served.
The ECCD Council, DOH, and DSWD are responsible for children aged 0-4 years old, while DepEd is responsible for those aged 5-8 years old. However, EDCOM 2 has noted in their Green Paper that “this interagency collaboration makes accountability difficult”.
Benitez also highlighted the hiring of child development workers in more permanent positions, “We insist on plantilla positions for child development workers and teachers within the barangay and to provide them with a certain amount of security of tenure”.
“It is a counterpart bill to Senator Gatchalian’s and Senator Angara’s bills in the Senate…Commissioners in the Lower House and Commissioners in the Senate do file simultaneously, to speed up the legislative process, on the assumption that legislation is necessary”, he also noted.