/ 15 December 2021

THE SENATE approved on third and final reading several bills that seek to convert school annexes into independent educational institutions.

Senators passed the measures on final reading. These were sponsored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

Approved were the proposed laws that will convert the following schools into independent elementary and high schools: Balbalan Agricultural and Industrial School–Balbalan Proper Extension in the province of Kalinga; Roberta de Jesus Elementary School–Disiplina Village Elementary School Extension in Barangay Bignay, Valenzuela City; Celestino G. Tabuena Memorial National High School–Mercedes B. Peralta Senior High School Extension in Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; Lydia D. Martinez Memorial High School–Sugod Senior High School Extension in Sorsogon City, province of Sorsogon; Arcelo Memorial National High School–Liloan National High School Annex in Liloan, Cebu province; Arena Blanco National High School–Tigtabon Annex in Tigtabon, Zamboanga City; Arena Blanco National High School–Mampang Annex; as well as the Manicahan National High School–Lamisahan Annex also in Zamboanga City.

Likewise getting the nod of senators were the bills seeking to convert the Libudon National High School–Sanghay Extension in Mati City, Davao Oriental and the Malinao High School– Pinamulaan Annex in the municipality of Banisilan, Cotabato into independent national high schools.

The Senate also approved House Bill 9658 to rename the Pinaglabanan High School in the municipality of Goa, Camarines Sur to Pinaglabanan National High School.

Members of the Senate likewise approved House Bill 10279 for the conversion of the San Lorenzo Elementary School in Sorsogon City, Sorsogon into an integrated national school.

In his sponsorship speech, Gatchalian said approving the measures will ensure more efficient services to the public, foster self-sustainability in the surrounding communities and avoid congestion.

“Turning these extension schools into independent schools is also crucial when it comes to responding to the educational needs of a growing population,” he said.