Palace alarmed by report on declining student skills


Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) – July 2, 2021 – 12:00 am

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang yesterday expressed concern over a recent World Bank report that found Filipino students perform poorly in math, reading and science, while assuring the public that the Department of Education (DepEd) would find ways to solve the problem.

The Philippines ranked low in three learning assessments conducted by the World Bank, an issue that the multilateral lender says comes with harassment and health issues like malnutrition.

The country ranked last and second to last in two assessments measuring skills and competencies in reading, math and science.

It also landed in the bottom half of countries that participated in an assessment measuring learning outcomes in writing, reading and numeracy.

“Well, this is very disturbing and very alarming and I am sure Secretary (of Education) Liling (Leonor) Briones and her team at the Ministry of Education will sit down and study and discuss ways forward. after receiving this report from the World Bank, ”Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Don’t worry. The report will be studied in depth and we will see how we can change the program, especially during the pandemic period,” he added.

Regarding the fight against malnutrition, Roque said the government still implements a program that provides nutritious food and milk to students despite the ban on in-person classes.

DepEd is constantly innovating to continue the learning process for students despite the limitations caused by the pandemic, Roque said.

“We are in blended learning mode. We use modules, we use television, radio as well as forms of computer-assisted educational material. But I am sure that the process of adaptation to the new normal continues and that the Ministry of Education will continue to introduce innovations, ”said Roque.

Suspend tax hikes

Senatorial Minority Leader Franklin Drilon urged the Department of Finance (DOF) to immediately repeal or suspend the implementation of a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regulation raising the income tax of private schools.

Drilon launched the call in anticipation of the start of the school year, noting that these institutions could shift the burden of paying higher taxes to students.

He suggested that the Senate pass a resolution expressing the legislative intent of the upper house when it passed the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and rejecting the patently erroneous interpretation of the tax regime governing business establishments. education.

Drilon said the resolution should accompany Senate Bill 2272, which seeks to clarify that the qualifier “non-profit” under Article 27 (B) of the National Revenue Code only applies to to hospitals and not to exclusive educational establishments.

“We have not changed the coverage of educational institutions. The BIR regulation has ruled and interpreted it differently and redefined what an educational institution is for the purposes of the tax system. This is totally an unwarranted interpretation, ”said Drilon during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

“The way the BIR interprets what we have adopted is totally wrong. We support this amendment and are confident that SB 2272, which clarifies the tax on educational institutions, will be adopted, ”said Drilon.

He said the BIR order would continue to be the “sword of Damocles” hanging over private schools during the world’s most uncertain times brought on by the continuing pandemic.

“If the committee tables a report favorably approving this bill, I strongly suggest that a resolution – which will record the legislative intent of the Senate as expressed during the plenary deliberations of the CREATE bill – accompany the report.” commission, ”Drilon said. .

“What we’re going to do is clarify the wording of the law. Let me stress that this is not amending law. We are only clarifying the misinterpretation. All the more reason that the BIR and the DOF should suspend tax regulations, ”he said. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Delon Porcalla


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