Student activists challenge PNoy to public debate over K to 12 program

Photo Credit: Sun Star

MANILA, Philippines — Following Malacañang Palace’s announcement of its intent to answer any legal challenges over the K to 12 program at the Supreme Court, a student activist group dared President Benigno Aquino III to face them in a public debate over the controversial program.

According to the League of Filipino Students (LFS), Aquino has a lot of explaining to do to the public since it will be they who will have to put up with the burdensome program.

“We dare him to face us so we can end their lies once and for all,” said LFS spokesperson Charisse Bañez. “President Aquino can bring along his allies in Congress, DepEd, Ched, DOLE and TESDA.”

Bañez added the debate’s venue can be held either in Plaza Miranda or Mendiola, but should be broadcast across the country for the benefit of the people.

The K to 12 program covers six years of primary education along with four and two years of junior and high school respectively.

The LFS has consistently opposed the implementation; saying it would only lead to increased joblessness and force Filipinos to seek work overseas.

Various groups have also opposed the implementation of the program next year; citing the lack of government resources and the expected retrenchment of more than 100,000 teachers since there will be no enrollment at the tertiary level for two years.

Last week, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo party-list Reps. Gary Alejano and Francis Acedillo filed a writ of preliminary injunction against the program’s enabling law Republic Act 10533 or the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.”

The lawmakers said the government’s failure to consult with various stakeholders and conduct reliable feasibility studies on the program made the law unconstitutional.

In turn, Palace spokesman Herminio “Sonny” Coloma defended the program and described it as an important investment for the country’s future.

The Department of Education also said it is well-prepared for the program’s implementation.