/ 15 May 2023

PINUNO Party-list Rep. Howard Guinto filed a measure that seeks to institutionalize students’ rights.

House Bill 7985 or the proposed Students’ Rights and Welfare Act of 2023 aims to protect students from discrimination in educational institutions and promote their right to competent instruction and relevant quality education as well as the right to organize and to establish a student council.

The bill will institutionalize the right to adequate welfare services and academic facilities; representation in the school’s highest policy-making body; right to freedom of information; academic freedom; right to due process; right against illegal searches and seizures; access to school records and issuance of official certificates and right to privacy.

“It is necessary to create an environment where students and young Filipinos can exercise their rights and fully participate in society and nation-building,” Guinto said.

“The bill recognizes the importance of democratic processes, particularly the right of students to organize and express themselves without undue influence from educational institutions,” he added.

The lawmaker said that government’s efforts to protect and promote students’ rights and welfare are not sufficient.

“The launch of a Students Rights and Welfare or STRAW Desk and the distribution of a National Student Handbook have proven inadequate in providing students with the protection and access to education that they deserve,” Guinto said.