/ 21 May 2024

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing anew for the passage of the Batang Magaling Act or Senate Bill No. 2367 to institutionalize the program.

This followed the issuance of the joint guidelines on the free assessment and certification for senior high school learners under the technical-vocational-livelihood track.

One of the Batang Magaling Act’s objectives is to institutionalize free national competency assessments and the awarding of National Certificates, which are provided for under the 2024 national budget.

More than P438 million was allotted this fiscal year under the TESDA Regulatory Program for assessing and certifying 420,900 Grade 12 learners.

Gatchalian proposed funding for the program during the deliberations on the 2024 national budget.

“My vision moving forward is to institutionalize this program through a law. That is why we proposed the Batang Magaling Act to institutionalize these assessments and many other reforms in our senior high school level,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.

The Batang Magaling Act seeks to boost the readiness of senior high school graduates for their chosen exits: higher education, middle-level skills development, employment, or entrepreneurship.

The proposed measure seeks to create the National Batang Magaling Council, aligning senior high schools’ curricular offerings and work immersion components with market needs identified by industry partners and government agencies.

To help learners acquire specialized skills to advance in their chosen paths, the Council shall increase the awareness and commitment of both industry partners and government agencies to accept learners in the work immersion programs and ensure that their deployment is done according to their tracks.

The proposed measure also mandates the Civil Service Commission to revise its policies and integrate the qualifications of senior high school graduates in the CSC qualification standards.

This will open up opportunities for senior high school graduates to find employment in government.

“One of the reforms we are looking at is mandating the Civil Service Commission to hire our senior high school graduates. Nagdagdag tayo ng senior high school level pero gobyerno mismo ay hindi kumukuha ng senior high school graduates,” Gatchalian said.