MANILA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to institutionalize the alternative learning system (ALS) in basic education.
A total of 224 lawmakers voted to approve House Bill 6910 or the Alternative Learning System Act during the plenary session.
The measure will institutionalize ALS as a parallel learning system in order “to provide a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction for out-of-school children, youth, and adult learners, including Madrasah and Indigenous Peoples, to develop basic and functional literacy, life skills, and pursue an equivalent pathway to complete basic education.”
The bill will also require the construction of at least one ALS Community Learning Center (CLC) in every municipality and city in the country.
"ALS is not new in the Department of Education. They have been doing it for decades, but there has been a growing need to update it and to legally and institutionally authorize the updating through legislation," said Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun, who authored the measure.
The lawmaker said the bill had been filed in the lower chamber since the 15th Congress, but its passage was recently fast-tracked due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Bilin naming mga kongresista sa DepEd na pabilisin din ang implementasyon nito para hindi mapag-iwanan sa pag-aaral kahit mayroong COVID-19 pandemic. Nais namin na sa January or February 2021 maipatupad na agad ang updated DepEd ALS," Fortun said.
The lower chamber on Tuesday also adopted House Resolution 969, urging the country's education, information and communications technology, and health agencies to create a task force that would formulate a home-based virtual education system for K to 12 teachers and students, which would be implemented during the state of public health emergency.