Implementation of the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights

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Republic Act No. 8749, also known as the Clean Air Act of 1999, provides for the comprehensive air pollution policy to establish and operate appropriate devices necessary to monitor ambient air. It also provides for the elimination of certain industrial processes as means of disposal.

  1. Republic Act No. 9275, otherwise known as the Clean Water Act, covers the management of all water resources in the country and control of potential sources of water pollution.

  1. Republic Act 9003, otherwise known as the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, adheres to the principles of solid waste minimization, thereby promoting the use of clean production, resource recovery, and solid waste prevention. It also aims to promote clean technology processes and practices and the adoption of industries to lessen their impact on the environment.

  1. In 1994, the Presidential Task Force on Waste Management (PTFWM) was created through Administrative Order No. 90. The PTFWM was mandated to (a) extend technical assistance to cities and municipalities in the country which are beginning to be affected by solid waste problems; (b) assist LGUs in enhancing their capacity to meet local development needs, especially the improvement of their system for managing solid waste; (c) refine the framework plan and monitor/evaluate its implementation; and (d) generate the necessary mass support by linking with other sectors and coordinating all efforts on solid waste management.

  1. In 1998, the DENR adopted the Ecowatch project, the department's compliance monitoring system which provides promotion of waste minimization, pollution prevention and clean technology. The project's objectives are to promote compliance with existing environmental laws, rules and regulations through public pressure and scrutiny; encourage pollution reduction beyond compliance through public recognition and praise; create incentives for polluters to develop internal environmental management systems; and develop the foundations for ISO 14000.48

  1. Pursuant to the provisions of the Clean Air Act, the government adopted the Metro Manila Air Quality Improvement Sector Development Program (MMAQISDP). MMAQISDP is a comprehensive government effort to support the implementation of the Clean Air Act and address issues in air quality management. The objective of the Program is to promote policy reforms and investment requirements that improve air quality through the abatement of mobile and stationary sources of air pollution, all integrated within an agreed policy matrix termed the Air Quality Action Plan. It focuses on the Metro Manila air shed, the location of the main concentrations of air pollution, which consists of the National Capital Region, and parts of Regions III and IV-A.

  1. For its part, the Department of Energy (DOE) embarked on an Alternative Fuels and Technology Program that aims to achieve energy supply security, reliability and affordability and fuel diversification, while meeting environmental challenges. Through the program, the DOE aims to create public and private sector partnerships to increase awareness of sources and harmful effects of air pollution and to promote alternative fuels for transport such as the compressed natural gas, bio-diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and possibly fuels cells and hydrogen.

  1. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) adopted the Integrated Program for Clean Technologies as one of its flagship programs. The program aims to promote sustainable development and strengthen the competitiveness of Philippine industries, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by providing them with technical information and implementation assistance in adopting clean technologies (CT). They thus formulate guidelines and policies for the promotion of CT, provide information, decision support and implementation assistance to SMEs adopting cleaner production techniques and CT, provide industrial extension services to regional SME processing plants and evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of adopting CT on the environment

  1. Following are jurisprudence which emphasize environmental and industrial hygiene--49

  • Metro Manila Development Authority v. JANCOM, G.R. No. 147465, 30 January 2002

  • Laguna Lake Development Authority v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110120, 16 March 1994

  • Tatel v. Socrates, G.R. No. 110249, 21 August 1997

  • Oposa v. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, 30 July 1993

  • Pollution Adjudication Board v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 93891, 11 March 1991

  • Rodriguez, Jr. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 74816, 17 March 1987

5.g. Measures taken by the government to prevent, treat and control epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases

  1. The government’s responsiveness to epidemics, particularly in times of calamities and disasters has been improved with the establishment of the National Epidemic Sentinel Surveillance System (NESSS). NESSS operated through a network involving 15 regional health offices called the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit. The system monitors cases of 14 infectious diseases with epidemic potential, including, but not limited to, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, dengue, malaria, measles. The system is functional in all regions of the country and monitoring is done through selected hospitals (sentinel sites) nationwide. Surveillance personnel conduct daily rounds in these hospitals and interview patients. Only cases that meet the system's case definitions are entered into the data set. Since only cases hospitalized in the sentinel sites are captured by the system, data from this surveillance system provide information on disease trends rather than actual disease burden. The system also facilitates timely detection of outbreaks.

  1. To enable local health personnel to respond to disease outbreaks at their level, basic epidemiology and surveillance training courses were designed and regularly conducted by the DOH.

  1. The DOH also maintains the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), its principal research arm in infectious and tropical diseases. The primary function of RITM is two-fold -- to undertake research in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases of public health importance and to produce vaccines for the control of vaccine-preventable diseases.

  1. The RITM is equipped with ample technical support for the conduct of valid and reliable scientific investigations. It also has the equipment support need to undertake its varied research activities.

  1. In line with the government’s thrust to be vaccine self-sufficient, the RITM is currently constructing a vaccine production plant which was designed to meet "good manufacturing practice" standards for the production of selected vaccines for local use as well packaging of filled vaccine vials from bulk. A research and development facility has been integrated as part of this project. The facility aims to help accelerate biotechnology in the Philippines such that indigenous raw materials could eventually be used for local vaccine production.

  1. The DOH has renewed its fight against tuberculosis in the country with the establishment of the National Tuberculosis Control Program. In line with this, the DOH has also initiated a cooperation project with the Japanese government to improve the control of tuberculosis in the country by building the National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL).

  1. Since 1996, the DOH has adapted a hierarchy of dengue warning signals designed to timely alarm communities so that appropriate interventions can be taken in a timely manner. These include a dengue alert, dengue hot spot, and dengue epidemic.

  1. In 1999, the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDPC) was tasked to lead and synchronize all government efforts in disease prevention and control.

5.h. Measures taken by the government to assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness

  1. The government maintains a network of hospitals, rural health units and barangay health stations to deliver medical services.

Question No. 6. Measures taken by the government to ensure that the rising costs of health care for the elderly do not lead to infringements of these persons’ right to health

  1. Republic Act No. 7876, otherwise known as the Senior Citizens Center Act of the Philippines, as amended by RA 9257, mandates that senior citizens, defined as any person 60 years of age, be granted: (a) free medical and dental service, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all government facilities; (b) 20 per cent discount on medical and dental service, diagnostic and laboratory fees, including professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities; and (c) 20 per cent discount on the purchase of medicines in all establishments.50

Question No. 7. Measures taken to maximize community participation in the planning, organization, operation and control of primary health care

  1. With the passage of the Local Government Code of 1991, local health boards (LBHs) were mandated to act as the main mechanisms to ensure broader community participation and involvement in local health development. LHB members include the mayor as chairman, municipal health officer as vice-chairman, local councilor for health, a representative of the DOH and a member of a health non-governmental organization who represents the community in the LHB. As advisory bodies, LHBs were tasked to propose annual budgetary allocations for the operation of health services, serve as advisory committees to the legislative council, and create advisory committees on personnel selection, promotion and discipline, bids and awards, budget review, etc.

  1. To sustain community efforts in primary health care, the Government has adopted the Minimum Basic Need Approach (MBN) using four areas of intervention to assist communities, namely: (1) social preparation of families and communities; (2) building capabilities of community volunteers, leaders and families; (3) accessing social welfare services; and (4) monitoring and evaluation.

  1. Also, the DOH’s Community Health Service conceptualizes, develops and manages foreign-funded and pilot program components which tap community involvement in project planning and implementation.

Question No. 8. Measures taken to provide education concerning prevailing health problems and the measures of preventing and controlling them

  1. Health education is made available to the general public through the following: (a) development, publication and distribution of manuals, information materials and health advisories; (b) communication campaigns of different programs through tri-media; (c) radio-television guestings on health issues by health officials; and (d) dissemination of health information through magazines and newspapers; (e) enter-educate (education through environment).

  1. Support and educational materials have been developed and are integrated in appropriate subject areas in the elementary and secondary level of education.

  1. In 1997, Administrative Order No. 341 was passed mandating the establishment of the Philippine Health Promotion Program through Healthy Cities. The program is a multi-sectoral health promotion strategy aimed at communicating health messages and building health supportive environments through advocacy, networking and community action.

Question No. 9. Role of international assistance in the full realization of the right to health

  1. The government has formed partnerships with international agencies that supplement its funding for the promotion of health, including aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene, with substantial amounts of financial assistance.

  1. More recently, the World Bank-assisted Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood Project produced the following outputs: (a) upgraded obstetric units in 70 Rural Health Units (RHUs) and 74 Barangay Health Stations (BHS) in 36 provinces, including the provision of furniture and equipment; (b) trained 2,450 Public Health Providers, 26 Project Coordinators, 16 Trainors on the Syndromic Approach to Diagnosis and Management of Reproductive Tract Infection/Sexually Transmitted Disease (RTI/STD) care in ten (10) provinces in Visayas and Mindanao and public health workers in the 70 RHUs and 74 BHSs in 36 provinces; and (c) constructed and provided 10 RTI/STD clinics with diagnostic equipment in the 36 provinces.

Challenges and Difficulties

  1. Air pollution remains a problem in metro Manila and major urban centers the last two decades. A 1992 report estimated that 80 per cent of Metro Manila residents and 31 per cent of residents in Metro Cebu are exposed to Total Solid Particulates (TSP) in the air above normal standards. It is projected that the volume of air pollutants (e.g., TSP, Particulate Matter, Sulfur Oxide, Nitrogen Oxide) will continue to increase due to increasing industrial activity, traffic and the number of vehicles plying the streets including the many smoke-belching public utility vehicles. Majority of TSP concentration is contributed by motor vehicles. Increasing air pollution load was reported by the WHO is 1996 to contribute to the high incidence of upper respiratory tract diseases in major urban centers like Metro Manila.

  1. Despite the high average rainfall, the supply of freshwater is diminishing due to over extraction of groundwater, water pollution, denuded forests/watersheds and lack of catchment basin and, occasionally, the El Niño phenomenon.

  1. The issues besetting the water sector include disparities in water supply coverage across regions, depletion of groundwater especially in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, lack of cost recovery on investments, institutional weaknesses and low willingness of consumers to pay.

  1. In addition, pollution of water sources such as rivers and lakes is evident in many parts of the country. About 457 water bodies have already been classified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Of these, however, about 51 per cent still meet the water quality standard, as of 1996. About 16 rivers nationwide are considered biologically dead during the dry months. About half (48 per cent) of water pollutants are domestic waste, about a third (37 per cent) are agricultural wastes, and the remainder are industrial wastes (15 per cent). Pollution of rivers, streams and lakes contaminate ground and surface waters, thus, exposing the population to environmentally-related diseases. Water pollution is decreasing the primary productivity of many water bodies. Heavy loads of inorganic pollutants have made water increasingly a threat to life. A report by the WHO in 1996 cited the rise in morbidity rate caused by gastrointestinal diseases from 502 in 1982 to 5,151 per 1000,000 population.

  1. Solid waste generation in Metro Manila is estimated at 5,345 tons per day. This is expected to double by 2010. Waste collection in Metro Manila is only about 65-75 per cent of total wastes generated and recycling level is estimated to be about 13 per cent. The 25 to 35 per cent uncollected wastes are just thrown anywhere, especially in esteros and creeks. These threaten the health of the population and contribute considerably to flooding.

  1. Urbanization has inevitably increased the use of chemicals, which resulted in an increasing number of incidents involving chemicals, particularly the release of ammonia and chlorine over the years. Presently, only about 45 per cent of the total industries using chemicals such as cyanide, mercury, asbestos and ODS have been registered. For polychlorinated biphenils (PCB), only about 25 per cent have been inventoried.

  1. Based on the JICA Study (2001), about 700 industrial establishments in the Philippines generate about 273,000 tons of hazardous wastes per annum. It was further estimated that with 5,000 potential hazardous waste generators, about 2.41 million tons of hazardous wastes will be generated. A study of the Asian Development Bank on hospital wastes reported that there are about 30,000 tons of hospital wastes generated per annum.

  1. At present, there is no integrated treatment facility for hazardous wastes in the country. However, there are about 95 small to medium-scale treatment facilities that treat hazardous wastes. There is approximately 50,000 tons of hazardous wastes stored on or offsite due to lack of proper treatment and landfill facilities. Other hazardous wastes are exported to other countries for recovery and disposal (i.e., metal bearing sludge and used solvents) and treatment (i.e. PCB).

Article 13
Question 1. Full realization of the right to education

  1. The Philippines has one of the shortest basic education systems in Asia-Pacific, with six years of elementary and four years of high school. The average Filipino child starts formal schooling in elementary at age six. However, children, who are expected to avail of private education undergo pre-schooling at the age of three. Reference may be made to pars. 429 to 430 on pre-schooling under ECCD.

1.a. Primary education

  1. Section 2, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution provides, “The State shall establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children, elementary education is compulsory for all children of school-age.”

  1. The Philippine education system, one of the most mature in Asia, can boast of impressive quantitative achievements. Universal access to elementary education was reached as early as the mid-60s.

1.b. Secondary education

  1. As in the case of primary education, secondary education is generally available and accessible to all. Republic Act No. 6655, otherwise known as the Free Secondary Education Act, declares it the policy of the State to provide for a free public, secondary education to all qualified students. As such, students enrolled in secondary schools established, administered, maintained and funded by government are free from payment of tuition and other school fees” except "fees related to membership in the school community such as identification cards, student organizations and publications.”

  1. There are two types of schools according to funding source: public and private schools. Both public and private high schools offer the four year Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) – secondary education. However, some schools have special and enriched curricula like Regional Science High School, schools with Special Programs in the Arts, Special Program in Sports, Science and Technology Oriented – Classes, and Technical-Vocational Schools. These schools offer additional subjects and/or electives to enrich the general curriculum (the BEC) as well as to develop various talents/skills of students.51

1.c. Higher education

  1. The delivery of higher education in the Philippines is provided by private and public higher education institutions. Of the 1,605 higher education institutions in the country, 1,431 are private and 174 are public. The average enrolment for the last nine (9) academic years, from School Year 1994-1995 to School Year 2002-2003, is 2,222,395. Based on the country’s estimated population of 88 million, those who are attending higher education comprise 2.8 per cent of the population. Since this per centage is much higher than most countries, it would seem that access to higher level education is less of a problem in the Philippines than in other countries. However, numbers alone do not reveal the problem with regard to access to and equity of higher education.

  1. The cost of higher education has substantially gone up, especially in the last 4 decades. The per student cost of university education now ranges from PhP5,000.00 to PhP90,000.00 per school year. The wide range is due to the difference in the quality of education available from the different classes of tertiary education.

  1. The tuition fee charged by the different institutions per unit vary greatly. (A course or subject in college is usually two (2) or three (3) units. One course unit is equivalent to 14 to 18 hours of lecture or class contact time.) Some state universities still charge PhP 8.00 per unit while some high quality private universities PhP1,000.00.00 per unit. The University of the Philippines (UP) charges PhP300.00 per unit. This is augmented with government subsidy, to enable UP, which is the premier state university, to provide quality education.

  1. The problem of cost of tertiary education is addressed to some extent by the state universities and colleges. There are 111 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), 56 Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), one (1) CHED Supervised Higher Education Institutions (CSIs), five (5) Special Higher Education Institutions (SHEIs), and 9 Other Government Schools (OGS), making a total of 182 public tertiary level institutions as of January 2006. Comparatively, there are 1,465 privately-run colleges and universities which are totally dependent on tuition fees for support.

  1. SUCs are chartered public higher education institutions established by law, administered and financially subsidized by the government. LCUs are those established by the local government through resolutions or ordinance. They are financially supported by the local government concerned. CSIs are non-chartered public post-secondary education institutions established by law, administered, supervised and financially supported by the government. OGS are public secondary and post-secondary education institutions usually a technical-vocational education institution that offer higher education programs. SHEIs are directly under the government agency stipulated in the law that created them. They provide specialized training in areas such as military science and national defense.

  1. As for private-run colleges and universities, these institutions are established under the Corporation Code and are governed by special laws. Non-sectarian schools are duly incorporated, owned and operated by private entities that are not affiliated to any religious organization while sectarian universities and colleges are usually non-stock, non-profit, duly incorporated, owned and operated by a religious organization.

1.d. Education for those who have not received or completed primary education

  1. In response to the needs of special groups, the State provides, through the DepED, the CHED, and the TESDA, special educational services which include among others, the following:

(a) Nonformal education which is any organized, systematic educational activity carried outside the framework of the formal school system to provide types of learning to a segment of the population.

(b) Technical-vocational education which is any non degree program at the post-secondary education level leading to proficiency in skills. Reference may be made to pars. 147 to 156 on TVET;
(c) Work education or practical arts which provides basic education to develop proper attitudes toward work; and
(d) Special education which develops the capabilities of individuals who are physically, mentally, emotionally, socially or culturally disabled as well as gifted children. In terms of school practices and services, the clientele is served with a modified education program.
Question No. 2. Difficulties encountered in the realization of the right to education

  1. The quality of basic Philippine education has been deteriorating continuously. Basic education bore the effects of continuing rapid population growth, estimated at 2.3 per cent annually. The public school system is hard-pressed to cope with the requirements of an expanding student population, particularly at the secondary level, due to, among others, the implementation of free public secondary education. Severe budgetary constraints have led to underinvestment in basic education.

i. Primary and secondary education

  1. For primary and secondary education, DepED has noted the following difficulties, viz:

Access to Basic Education

  1. In 2000, there were 4,569 barangays (about 10 per cent of the total barangays) without elementary schools. However, it was identified in 2001 that only 1,617 of these barangay needed schools because the rest had access to schools outside of their barangays. Of these barangays identified as having without access to elementary education, only 118 remain unserved as of 2004.


  1. High drop out rate is credited to both school and non-school factors such as poor health and/or nutrition, parental attitude, financial capability, geography, political conflicts, and disability; and teacher factor.


  1. Another urgent and pressing challenge is improving the quality of education. Results of various achievement tests indicate a serious problem in the quality of education in the country. In 2002, only 51.73 per cent of elementary students passed the National Elementary Achievement Test. In the recent High School Readiness Test, only 0.52 per cent of the examinees achieved grades of 75 per cent and above.

  1. The DepEd administered diagnostic tests at the start of 2002-2003 for Grade IV pupils and Year I students in public schools showed that students had very poor competencies in Math, Science and English.

  1. Far more alarming were the results of the testing conducted for incoming first-year students in SY 2004-2005, where only about half of a per cent of the examinees got scores within the 79-94 per cent range and less than 20 per cent got 50 per cent scores, which is the start of mastery level. Majority of the students garnered scores of 49 per cent or below. But it is worth noting that actual pupil performance in 21 provinces supported by the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP) generally showed scores significantly higher (56 per cent) than the national mean of 44 per cent. TEEP is one of the official development assistance projects aimed to improve the quality of education in the provinces. Other province-based projects include AusAID-assisted Basic Education Assistance in Mindanao (BEAM), Japan’s Educational Facilities Improvement Projects, the United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF-assisted Fifth Country program for Children, and the School-Based Training Program.

  1. The problem of poor quality has been traced to a number of causes which include among others teacher-related factors in terms of competencies and skills, the need for institutionalized support system to strengthen in-service training, clearly defining career paths and prospects of mobility in the teaching profession to enhance motivations to stick to the profession, and to regulate the teaching load, which according to a study conducted revealed that the Filipino teacher has 72 tasks other than teaching.

  1. Teacher qualifications remain to be an issue, especially at the secondary education level, both in terms of content and pedagogy. As of SY 2004-2005, only 80 per cent of the public school teachers teaching math have math majors. In the sciences, 44 per cent of Biology teachers are majors in the subject, compared with 34 per cent in Chemistry, and 27 in Physics. The other teachers are science generalists. However, even for teachers who are specialists in these subject areas, the level and quality of subject competency appears to be wanting, too.

  1. Other factors affecting quality which may be identified are the school curriculum which is rather congested --- the shortest as compared to other ASEAN countries and where learning materials are inadequate; the system's Bilingual Policy which has affected the performance in Science and Mathematics which require for English proficiency; as well as student and family characteristics and pedagogical processes which provide students very little opportunity to "explore and discover" knowledge.

Underinvestment in Education

  1. The country's public allocation for education is relatively low. For SY 2005-2006, 88 per cent per cent of total expenditures went to salaries.

  1. As a result of underinvestment in education classroom backlog reached 4 per cent in the public elementary schools in 2000. Classroom gap for SY 2006-2007, despite the employment of double-shift classes, reached 3,416 units. Textbook shortage reached 67.30 million for SY 2006-2007 on a 1:1 ratio.

  1. Teacher-pupil ratio was registered at 1:36 in elementary level and 1:42 in the secondary level, both for SY 2003-2004. The average class by level consists of 38.64 for the elementary level and 56.37 for the secondary level, also for SY 2003-2004. Failure of the education sector to modernize was evident in the past because of the absence of some basic services, facilities and equipment, which proved crucial to efforts at maximizing the advantages of technological developments.

  1. While the national ratios may appear sound, the data when disaggregated by division/province showed serious gaps such as classrooms being used by more than 100 children, a two-seater desk shared by three to four children, and a teacher holding a class of 100 or more pupils. In addition, excess teachers in some areas cannot be redeployed to areas with severe shortage because that is disallowed by the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers Act.

ii. Higher education

  1. Higher education faces the same problems faced by the primary and secondary sectors. In 2000, CHED formulated the Long-Term Higher Education Development Plan (LTHEDP), 2001-2010. LTHEDP is a comprehensive document, which spells out the vision and mission of higher education in the Philippines as well as the strategic directions to be adopted in order to address the different issues and concerns of higher education and outline its future directions.

  1. The major initiatives of the higher education was geared towards the attainment of four (4) goals, namely:

(a) Quality and Excellence - the provision of undergraduate and graduate education that meets international standards of quality and excellence;

(b) Relevance and Responsiveness - generation and diffusion of knowledge in the broad range of disciplines relevant and responsive to the dynamically changing domestic and international environment;
(c) Access and Equity - broadening the access of deserving and qualified Filipinos to higher education opportunities; and
(d) Efficiency and Effectiveness - the optimization of social, institutional, and individual returns from the utilization of higher education resources.
Question No. 3. Statistics on education
Literacy rate

  1. Based on the 2003 Functional Literacy Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), the Philippines’ basic or simple literacy rate stood at 93.9 per cent. There was a significant difference between male (93.2 per cent) and female (94.6 per cent). Compared to 1994 data, the females had a 0.6 per centage point improvement in simple literacy while males had 0.5 per centage decrease.

  1. Across regions, the NCR posted the highest literacy rate at 99.1 per cent while ARMM registered the lowest with 70.7 per cent. Other regions with higher literacy rate than the national level were Region I (Ilocos Region) with 97.1 per cent, Region V (Bicol Region) with 95.5 per cent. In terms of functional literacy, the rate improved from 83.8 per cent in 1994 to 85.1 per cent in 2003

Statistics for elementary education

  1. At present, there are more than 42,000 public elementary and secondary schools in the country, all of which are providing education free of charge.

  1. Enrolment in public and private elementary schools reached 13 million in SY 2003-2004 representing an increase of 1.96 per cent from the SY 2000-2001 level of 12.8 million. Based on school-age population of 6-11 years old, the participation rate at the primary or elementary level stood at 90 per cent in SY 2002-2003. The most recent data on participation rate suggest that there is a need for greater effort to achieve the target of universal access to elementary education. Across regions, the ARMM registered the highest participation rate with 91 per cent while the lowest was registered in the NCR with 77 per cent.

  1. Schooling data for SY 2003-2004 showed that girls have higher participation rates than boys at elementary (82.59 per cent vs. 80.88 per cent) and high school (51.19 per cent vs. 42.97 per cent) levels.52 Disparity is generally minimal across regions at the elementary level except in the ARMM, which posted a gender parity index (GPI) 53 of 1.10 (93.91 per cent: 84.85 per cent). Larger ratio discrepancies were posted in the secondary level with GPIs ranging from 1.08 (58.02 per cent : 53.8 per cent) in the NCR to 1.34 per cent (48.99 per cent: 36.66 per cent) in Eastern Visayas.

  1. Enrolment figures for Grade 1 (SY 2003-2004) likewise indicated that there were more girls (45.99 per cent) who started school than boys (41.88 per cent).

  1. Cohort survival rate (CSR) at elementary level showed continuing improvement from 67.21 per cent in SY 2000-2001 to 69.84 per cent in SY 2002-2003. In the same period, completion rate showed slight improvement from 66.13 per cent to 66.85 per cent. Conversely, dropout rate for elementary slightly declined from 7.67 per cent in SY 2000-2001 to 7.34 per cent in SY 2002-2003.

  1. Though ARMM registered a high participation rate in public elementary schools in SY 2003-2004, it posted the lowest cohort survival rate and completion rate of 37.02 per cent and 33.34 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, Region I (Ilocos Region) posted the highest cohort survival rate and completion rates of 76.98 per cent and 75.97 per cent, respectively. The highest simple dropout rate was registered in Region VII (Central Visayas) with 3.27 per cent.

  1. Data for SY 2003-2004 show that in terms of completion rate, girls still emerged to be at an advantage over boys at both elementary (66.86 per cent vs. 57.76 per cent) and secondary (63.7 per cent vs. 48.77 per cent) levels.

  1. The results of the 2002 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) also offered useful insights Schooling status data showed more females attending school than males (72 per cent vs. 66 per cent) – a trend consistent in both urban and rural areas. For males, the most frequently cited reasons for not attending school were employment concerns (30 per cent), lack of personal interest (25 per cent), and the high cost of education (23 per cent). Employment-related concerns (22 per cent) also turned out to be the primary deterrent among females in attending school followed by the high cost of education (21 per cent) and housekeeping responsibilities (16 per cent).

Statistics for Secondary Education

  1. For SY 2006-2007, there were 8,059 public and private secondary schools in the country. Enrolment in public and private secondary schools reached 6.78 million in the same year representing an increase of 1.69 per cent from the SY 2000-2001 level of 5.8 million.

  1. CSR, using EFA formula, declined from 71.68 per cent in SY 2000-2001 to 65.63 per cent in SY 2002-2003. In the same period, completion rate also declined from 70.62 per cent to 59.79 per cent. Conversely, dropout rate (school leavers rate) increased from 8.50 per cent in SY 2000-2001 to 13.10 per cent in SY 2002-2003.

Statistics for Higher Education

  1. The average enrolment for the last 11 academic years, from SY 1994-1995 to SY 2004-2005, is 2,256,248. Based on the country’s estimated population of 88 million, those who are attending tertiary level school comprise 2.8 per cent of the population.

  1. The variety of undergraduate and graduate programs being offered by the higher education institutions in the country can be classified into 20 clusters of disciplines or fields of study: (i) Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Veterinary Medicine; (ii) Architectural and Town Planning; (iii) Business and Management Education; (iv) Education and Teacher Training; (v) Engineering and Technology; (vi) Fine and Applied Arts; (vii) General Education; (viii) Home Economics; (ix) Humanities (x) Information Technology; (xi) Law and Jurisprudence; (xii) Maritime Education; (xiii) Mass Communication and Documentation; (xiv) Mathematics; (xv) Medical and Allied; (xvi) Natural Science; (xvii) Religion and Theology; (xviii) Service Trades; (xix) Social and Behavioral Sceince; (xx) Trade, Craft and Industrial.

  1. Enrolment is high in the medical and allied discipline group, education and teacher training, business administration and related fields, engineering courses, and information technology courses. At present, the nursing program is becoming increasingly attractive to students in view of the perceived high demand abroad.

  1. The present over-all cohort survival rate ranges from 20 to 22 per cent from first year to fourth year college. The cohort survival in private schools is much lower than in the government or state schools.

Policies and programs taken by the government to promote education at all levels

  1. Several institutional and program development were put in place to improve access to and quality of education and learning efficiency.

  1. For many years, the administration, supervision and regulation of the educational system was vested in only one agency of the government – the then Department of Education, Culture and Sports. 54 However, the department’s bureaucratic and priority foci were primarily geared towards basic education.

  1. In 1991, Congress came out with the Congressional Commission on Education Report recommending the restructuring of the education sector bureaucracy. The report provided the impetus for Congress to pass RA No. 7722 and RA No. 7796 in 1994 creating CHED and TESDA, respectively.

  1. As a result of the trifocalization of education, the DepED concentrates only in the administration, supervision and regulation of basic education (elementary and secondary education). CHED, a department-level agency attached to the Office of the President, oversees the higher education subsector. By focusing its attention on system governance and policy guidance over public and private higher education institutions, CHED monitors and evaluates the programs of these institutions, formulates and implements development plans, policies and standards and undertakes developmental programs and projects on higher education. On the other hand, TESDA, and agency attached to the DOLE, oversees the post-secondary technical and vocational education including skills orientation, training and development of out-of-school youths and community adults.

  1. The Local Government Code of 1991 gave the LGUs with greater resources to support elementary and secondary education. The law has empowered the LGUs with more autonomy and spending power primarily through their Internal Revenue Allotments and their greater authority for resource generation and mobilization. However, more than the enhanced capacity to spend on education, the biggest contribution of the law could very well be that it has brought the direction of education closer to the stakeholders, and with it, the greater responsibility that they now have over their respective communities’ educational future.

  1. More specifically, the law provided for the creation of a Special Education Fund (SEF) in every provincial, city or municipal treasury. The SEF consists of the respective shares of provinces, cities, and barangays in the proceeds of the additional tax, equivalent to 1 per cent, imposed on real property. Under Sec. 272 of the code, the proceeds of the tax imposed shall be allocated for the operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals, and sports development as determined and approved by the Local School Board.

  1. School partnership with various stakeholders such as the community, parents, local government units, non-government organizations and business groups are further encouraged.

Primary Education

  1. In SY995-96, DepED lowered the entry age for Grade I to six and a half years and subsequently to six years the following school year. To give itself time to plan effectively for teaching assignments, classrooms and textbooks, DedED, instituted the National School Enrolment Day (NSED) for children who shall have reached the age of six and a half (later reduced to six years) by the beginning of the school year. The NSED is held on the last Monday of January of every year.

  1. The Multigrade Program in Philippine Education (MPPE) supports the DepED’s mandate to improve access to and quality elementary education. The program consists of several projects.55

  1. There are numerous other programs being implemented by the DepEd which aim to improve access to and quality elementary education.56

  1. DepED also issued a number of directives to intensively undertake specific interventions aimed at increasing the holding power of schools.57

Secondary Education.

  1. To enhance the readiness of elementary school graduates for secondary education, the DepED adopted the Optional High School Bridge Program. Under the program, students planning to enroll for first year in public high schools will have to take a placement or readiness test. Based on the results of the test, they will either take the existing first year high school curriculum or opt for a five-year bridge curriculum focused on English, Science and Math.

  1. The DepEd has also adopted several programs which aims to provide high school students with an opportunity to finish secondary education.58

Higher Education

  1. In cognizance of the problems besetting the higher education system in the country, CHED is pursuing various development initiatives or reform strategies. A majority of the development programs and projects of CHED are supported through the Higher Education Development Fund anchored on four major thrusts outlined above, namely: quality and excellence; relevance and responsiveness; access and equity; and efficiency and effectiveness.

  1. There are a number of program and reform initiatives aimed towards improving access to higher education which currently being implemented in the country.59

Question No. 4. Budget for education, system of schools, state of classrooms
Budget for education

  1. The education sector enjoys the biggest budget allocation of about PhP112 billion or 12.35 per cent of the 2005 annual budget of the Philippine government. 88.11 per cent of which was allocated for Personal Services (PS), 7.79 per cent for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses and 4.10 per cent of which was allocated for Capital Outlay.

  1. The DepED budget has an average growth rate of 7.18 per cent over the past 10 years, 1995-2005. For 2002-2004, government spending on education grew at an annual average of 4.5 per cent. The 2004 budget for basic education increased by PhP10.8 billion or an increase of about 11 per cent from the 2001 level of PhP98.2 billion. While this appears generous, 89 per cent of the budget goes to salaries and other personnel benefits while expenditures for developmental purposes (e.g., attendance to training programs, purchase of instructional materials, conduct of institutional supervision) are derived from its maintenance and other operating expenses budget at seven per cent. On the other hand, classrooms and instructional equipment, including computers for teaching and learning purposes are obtained from the capital outlay at four per cent.

  1. However, its share in total expenditures declined from 13.24 per cent to 12.35 per cent during the period 2003-2005. Further, the amount spent per child per year (roughly US$150) is one of the smallest in the region (compare this to US$ 950 per child that Thailand spends).

  1. The basic education sub-sector continues to take on the bigger chunk of the education budget in line with the government’s commitment for free and compulsory elementary education and free education.

  1. In terms of spending for each educational level using FY 2005 as basis, DepED allocated 1.89 per cent for preschool education, 48 per cent for elementary education, 45.24 per cent for secondary education and .55 per cent for alternative learning systems.

System of Education

  1. The structure of formal education in the Philippines consists of the following three levels:

Elementary education --- the first level, provides basic education, which traditionally is of six or seven grades. Generally elementary education is categorized into two levels: the primary level, which covers the first to the fourth grades and the intermediate, which includes the fifth to the sixth or seventh grade. Preschool education is adjunct to elementary education consisting of nursery and kindergarten schooling (reference may be made to par. 429 on ECCD).
Secondary education (high school) --- the second level is a continuation of the basic education, which is provided at the first level. It is expanded to include learning and training in basic employable skills. This covers a period of four years of formal schooling.
Tertiary education (higher education) --- the third level provides prescribed courses of studies, which are credited towards degrees in academic disciplines or professions.
Building of new schools

  1. School-buildings, which are funded by the Government under the General Appropriations Act (GAA), are built by the Department of Public Works and Highways. For CY 2005, the budget for school building constructions and/or repairs/rehabilitations was divided into two implementing agencies – the DPWH and the DepED. The latter, as provided in the special provisions of the GAA, will concentrate in the construction of new classrooms for areas experiencing acute classroom shortage or those schools that fall under the “red” and “black” zone of the Basic Education Information System (BEIS).

  1. Local government units are also responsible for the construction and repair of classrooms and school-buildings located within their jurisdiction. Under Sec. 272 of the Local Government Code, LGUs shall apply the proceeds of the Special Education Fund for the operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals, and sports development as determined and approved by the Local School Board.

  1. Under the CY 2005, budget for school buildings particularly that of the DepED portion, the LGUs were given the 2nd priority in the implementation of the SBP next to the NGOs.

  1. Legislators, through their Countrywide Development Fund (CDF), also assist in the building of new classrooms. The CDF or Priority Development Assistance Fund refers to funds given to the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which the members of these bodies could use to fund projects within their jurisdiction. Ideally, legislators fund projects that would have the most impact on the lives of their constituents -- those aimed at improving health, alleviating poverty, or upgrading the quality of education. Under the Country Wide Development of the Legislators, a total of 1,075 new classrooms were built for the period of January to December 2005.

  1. Under the Third-Elementary Education Project, classrooms for elementary schools are built by the DepED’s principals and school heads in the 22 depressed provinces. TEEP provides technical and financial assistance to LGUs in the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings in the depressed provinces of the country. Seventeen (17) of these were identified by the SRA, while the other five (5) were chosen by the Presidential Commission to Fight Poverty. 60 The TEEP has already built a total of 5,230 new classrooms and repaired 14,534 existing ones.

  1. There are several other programs being implemented by the Government which aim to fill the gap in the need for classrooms.61

Schooling schedules and Curricula
For primary education

  1. The school calendar for elementary students was lengthened from 185 to 200 days beginning 1993. In addition, the daily student contact hours for critical subjects were increased. In particular, learning time has been increased in English in Grades I and II from 60 to 80 hours; and Mathematics in Grades I to III from 40 to 60 minutes. Science and Health was introduced in Grades I and II and given a time allotment of 40 minutes.

  1. In 2003, DepED introduced the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC). BEC decongests the overcrowded curriculum by reducing the learning areas to five (5) -- Math, Science, English, Filipino and Makabayan (Patriotism) - and increasing time on these areas. Values is integrated in all subject areas.

Secondary Education

  1. The high school curriculum likewise focuses on the following learning areas –English, Science, Mathematics, Filipino, and Makabayan. High school math shifted from the spiral system that introduced all math subjects in every level to the linear, sequential approach where only Elementary Algebra is taught in 1st year, Intermediate Algebra in the 2nd year and Geometry in the 3rd year.

  1. Integrative and interactive teaching-learning approaches are stressed. These are characterized by group learning and sharing of knowledge and experiences between teachers, between teachers and students and among students. For instance, under the old curriculum, English teachers prepared lesson plans for English and values teachers prepared for values education. Under the BEC, the English and Values Education teachers work together on their lesson plans.

Question No. 5. Equal access to education
5.a. Ratio of men and women making use of the different levels of education

  1. Schooling data for SY 2003-2004 showed that girls have higher participation rates than boys at elementary (82.59 per cent vs. 80.88 per cent) and high school (51.19 per cent vs. 42.97 per cent) In terms of completion rate for SY 2003-2004, girls still emerged to be at an advantage over boys at both elementary (66.86 per cent vs. 57.76 per cent) and secondary (63.7 per cent vs. 48.77 per cent) levels.

  1. With more females successfully completing high school and generally more predisposed to schooling, higher education is still female-dominated. In SY 2001-2002, females comprised 55 per cent of total enrollees. The graduation figures for SY 2000-2001 showed greater disparity as 60 per cent of those who graduated were females.

  1. The entry of females into several of the “traditionally” male-dominated disciplines have steadily continued. Female enrollees (SY 2004-2005) in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fishery, veterinary medicine; and mathematics and computer science comprised 49 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively. The participation of women in the military and police academy has also increased.

  1. In TVET, the total number of graduates for SY 2002-2003 indicated an almost equal distribution between females (48 per cent) and males (51 per cent). The same can be said of total enrollment based on SY 2003-2004 data, which showed a 49:50 per cent female-male share. However, regional enrollment data suggested uneven degrees of disparity. In the National Capital Region, for example, females outnumber males 14:10 while Region II, the opposite was noted with female-male ratio of 6:10.

5.b. Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups

  1. The urban and rural poor as well as members of indigenous cultural communities are the most disadvantaged groups in terms of access to education services.

  1. The ongoing socio-political integration of the indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) into the national mainstream is perceivably slowed down by, among others, illiteracy. The low literacy rate, in turn, is attributed to the scarcity of schools where these ICCs live.

5.c. Measures undertaken to guarantee equal access to education

  1. As for those persons who have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education, there are different programs and projects, which are being implemented by the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS). Such programs and projects include Nonformal Education Accreditation and Equivalency System, Mobile Teacher Project, Basic Literacy Thru Service Contracting Scheme Project and the Balik-Paaralan Para sa Out-of-School Youth Adult Project.

  1. Functional literacy programs, which are geared toward increasing the numerical ability and communication skills of the population, are also being implemented for out-of-school youths and adults in hard-to-reach areas on a wider scale. Reference may be made to par. 749.

  1. The Government also administers the Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT) for the benefit of those who would want to continue with their schooling after stopping for a number of years. PEPT is a paper-pencil test which measures and accredits the non-formal learning experiences of the out-of-school youth so that the can qualify for re-entry and placement in the formal school system.

  1. The Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP)62 is a comprehensive program of identifying, assessing and assigning equivalent college-level learning acquired from non-formal and informal training and related work experience towards the final granting of equivalent credits and/or awarding of appropriate academic degree. The Panel of Experts form the academe, industry and profession assesses and determines the level and extent of competencies of the applicant and the competency enhancement/supplementation for completion of the academic program requirements. There are at present 88 institutions (64 private higher educational institutions and 24 state colleges and universities) deputized to implement the ETEEAP and 50 baccalaureate degree programs and 20 graduate degree programs offered via the ETEEAP. Beginning 1999 until 2005, 1,947 students have graduated under ETEEAP.

For children of indigenous communities

  1. For members of indigenous communities, Sec. 30 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, RA 8371, provides that indigenous cultural communities shall have equal access. In this regard, the Government grants assistance programs to deserving indigenous peoples through the Select Ethnic Group Educational Assistance Program and provides them with adult education programs, which includes basic reading, writing and mathematics classes.

  1. The DepED is also enjoined to develop and institute an alternative system of education for children of indigenous communities, which is culture-specific and relevant to the needs and existing situation in their communities.

Children in Muslim Mindanao

  1. Confronted with the severe lack of teachers and classrooms compounded by the distance of the schools from their homes, many children in remote sitios and mountainous communities in Mindanao are not able to proceed and finish either primary or elementary education.

  1. To respond to this, the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) was conceived. BEAM is a DepED project funded by the Government of the Philippines and the Government of Australia.63

  1. For Muslim children, the DepED, beginning SY 2005-2006, implemented the Madrasah Education. The offering of the Madrasah curriculum is in accordance with DepED Order 51, s. 2004 which highlights Madrasah education as a vital component of the educational system that enhances national unity. Included in Madrasah curriculum, in addition to regular subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Filipino and Makabayan, are lessons in Arabic language and Islamic values.
Educational Development of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict

  1. Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, seeks to ensure the survival and protection of children in situations with on-going armed hostilities. Under the law, the Government ensures the delivery of basic services, provides physical and psychological recovery services, and protects and promotes the rights of children in situations of armed conflict. Among the activities undertaken under the program includes training of day care workers on ECCD and psychosocial interventions; production and distribution of kits on early childhood enrichment program; conduct of parent effectiveness seminars; training of community health volunteers; health and nutrition classes for mothers; training on critical incident stress debriefing for parents and care givers; and provision of safe water and sanitary facilities.

Access to educational opportunities to poor but deserving tertiary level students

  1. To provide wide access to educational opportunities to poor but deserving tertiary level students in quality schools and priority courses programs, the Philippine Government administers and funds several scholarship programs.64

5.d. Linguistic facilities

  1. Bilingual education in the Philippines is defined operationally as the separate use of Filipino and English as the media of instruction in specific subject areas. As embodied in the DECS Order No. 25, Filipino shall be used as medium of instruction in social studies/social sciences, music, arts, physical education, home economics, practical arts and character education. English, on the other hand is allocated to science, mathematics and technology subjects. The same subject allocation is provided in the 1987 Policy on Bilingual Education, which is disseminated through Department Order No. 52, s. 1987.65

  1. However, the regional languages are to be used as auxiliary languages at the primary level. Three (3) major lingua francasTagalog, Cebuano and Ilocano – are used in teaching basic literacy and numeric skills for Grades I and II students. This is pursuant to the Lingua Franca Project, which was developed to test how the children may be taught in the local language prevalent in the region as a medium of instruction. The project includes the production of instructional materials in the vernacular. Furthermore, under the Basic Literacy Project, basic literacy learning materials were translated into seven major dialects.

  1. At the tertiary level, the language policy is embodied in CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 59, s. 1996, which provides: language courses, whether Filipino or English, should be taught in that language; and at the discretion of the higher education institution, literature subjects may be taught in Filipino, English or any other language as long as there are enough instructional materials for the same and both students and instructors/professors are competent in that language.

Question 6. Conditions of teaching staff at all levels
Teacher Training

  1. To ensure that there are sufficient teachers and to enhance their competence and quality of teaching, Centers of Excellence in Teacher Education to handle pre-service training were established. These centers were put in place pursuant to RA 7784 Excellence in Teacher Education Act to further ensure quality education for all children.

  1. Teachers in public and private elementary schools must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Secondary school teachers are expected to have earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with specialization (major or minors) in secondary school subjects. Both degrees must be earned in approved teacher education courses at recognized institutions

  1. Faculty qualifications in higher education have improved in terms of per centage of collegiate faculty with masters degrees from 25.7 per cent in 2000 to 29.88 per cent in 2003. Faculty with doctorate degrees likewise increased from 7.5 per cent to 9.21 per cent for the same period.

  1. All teaching degree programs are four years in length. Non-education graduates may complete an 18-unit Certificate of Professional Education program in order to qualify as primary or secondary teachers. After completion of these programs, the students are required under RA 7836, otherwise known as Teachers Professionalization Act, to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers to qualify them to teach both in the elementary and secondary levels.

Upgrading Teacher Competencies

  1. The DepED regularly conducts in-service training for teachers at the division and regional levels. District and school learning action cell sessions are also regularly held to continuously improve the teachers’ managerial and instructional skills.

  1. The National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) responds to the demand for professional competence as well as management and leadership excellence in the educational community. To fulfill its mandate, NEAP focuses on the following three (3) components: the training and development component; program and development component; and, research and development component.

  1. The annual search for the most effective public elementary and secondary schools has contributed to enhancing the capabilities of administrators and teachers in the school system. Criteria used are (1) highly motivated learners; (2) competent and highly committed teachers; (3) capable and dynamic managers; (4) adequate and wholesome learning environment; (5) harmonious school-parent-community relationships.

Salaries of Teachers

  1. The minimum gross basic monthly salary of public school teachers in the elementary and secondary school is Php9,939.00 (US$183.21).66

Question No. 7. Proportion of schools privately owned and administered

  1. As mentioned above, for SY 2006-2007, there are 42, 160 elementary schools in the country, 4,668 of which are privately owned and administered. During the same period, there are 8,059 secondary schools, 3,331 of which are privately owned and administered.

  1. As mentioned above, for SY 2005-2006, there are 1,647 higher education institutions in the country, of which 1,465 are privately owned and administered.

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