/ 24 July 2022

THE COMMISSION on Human Rights welcomes the Safe School Reopening Bill supporting the safe reopening of classes and transition to face-to-face mode.

The proposed measure covers essential safety areas to protect students and teachers such as proper ventilation of learning spaces, on-campus health facilities and supplies, human resources for health, financial support for private educational institutions to implement safety measures.

There is also Covid19 testing for learners and education personnel, and a medical fund for free treatment of learners and education personnel.

“The proposed bill is a concrete way to uphold the right to education while protecting the right to health in educational institutions. It endeavors to execute in concrete terms the interdependence and indivisibility of rights since the right to education cannot be fully attained if health and safety are compromised,” said CHR Executive Director Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia.

“It is also notable that the proposed bill aims to provide health security, which will enable students and education personnel to learn and work without anxiety over the financial consequences that COVID may pose,” Guia added.

CHR also supports calls for the passage of House Bill 203 which seeks to increase the salary of teachers to ensure due compensation for them that is commensurate with other government professionals who have been given salary increase in recent years.

“Many teachers take on additional odd jobs to support their families especially given the current rising inflation and peso devaluation. As we put high premium to education, this must also be translated to the value and compensation we accord our educators,” she said.