Press Release
June 1, 2020

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Higher, and Technical and Vocational Education, on the passage of Senate Bill No. 1541 on Third and Final Reading

The passage of Senate Bill No. 1541 on third and final reading today demonstrates our serious efforts here in the Senate to combat COVID-19 and help our people transition or adapt to a "new normal."

Almost one-third of our entire population are school children which explains why school re-opening has caused restlessness, anxiety and even divisiveness among our people.

Without compromising the education of our children and their safety and health, we deemed it necessary to amend Republic Act No. 7797 so that we can have flexibility in the face of uncertainties brought by natural disasters or pandemics.

The virus is merciless. Given the delicacy of the situation and the millions of Filipino children who will be affected by the re-opening of our schools, we believe that it must be the President who must have the power to set a different date for the start of the school year nationwide or in specific areas upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Education.

Through this measure, I believe that we can transition not only to a new normal but also to a "better normal."

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