2023 April 27
MANILA – House Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Representative Camille Villar on Thursday urged her colleagues to support a proposed bill seeking to ban the restrictive “no permit, no exam” policy in all educational institutions.
“Students should not be barred from taking exams due to their inability to pay tuition and other school fees at the time of their examinations. Hindi lang sa kolehiyo nangyayari ito ngayon kundi pati sa elementary at high school (It is happening not only in colleges but also in the elementary and high schools),” Villar said.
Citing recent social media posts wherein some students had to line up shortly after midnight to get a permit to take the exams, Villar said it is “high time” to pass the key reform measure.
Villar, one of the principal authors of House Bill (HB) 7584 or “An Act Allowing Elementary and Secondary Learners with Unpaid Tuition and Other School Fees to Take the Periodic and Final Examinations on Good Cause and Justifiable Grounds,” reiterated that the measure, if passed into law, will provide relief to families facing economic difficulties.
As sessions resume on May 8 after the Holy Week break, Villar urged fellow lawmakers to join the measure’s proponents for the swift passage of HB 7584.
Under the measure, private basic educational institutions shall adopt appropriate policies to accommodate and allow learners, who, due to emergencies, force majeure and good cause or other justifiable reasons, have unsettled financial obligations, to take the scheduled periodic exams.
Parents or guardians, however, must execute a promissory note for the settlement of the outstanding financial obligation. Any deferment of payment of unpaid balance shall not go beyond the school year, except when allowed by the school.
Once approved into law, sanctions await schools found guilty of violating the measure.
Poverty, according to Villar, should not be an issue in acquiring quality education.
The bill was approved on second reading before lawmakers went on break last March. She said the House of Representatives is expected soon to put to a vote the important piece of legislation, upon the resumption of the House sessions.
The counterpart measure, Senate Bill 1359, has been approved already on third and final reading.
Zaldy De Layola (PNA)