Agencies conflicting views delay the passage on the proposed Early Years Act

THE House Committees on Basic Education sent back the proposed Early Years Act to a technical working group (TWG), due to conflicting views of government agencies.

Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar), who presided during the recent hearing of the House body, called on all parties concerned to iron out the differences and disagreements to find a common stand on the measure.

He called on the representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, local government units (LGUs) and the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) to attend the next hearing.

It was reported that the ECCD is supporting the House Bill 6197 while the representatives of the DSWD and DepEd are supporting the Senate Bill 3206.

One of the issues that were discussed centered on the issue of a 2-year transition period wherein the ECCD council would be transferred to DepEd. At present, the ECCD is under the DSWD.

“Let us do away with the debate on the transition period issue because at the end of the day, the local government can give necessary adjustment and the needed facilities are already available,” Sarmiento

“The DSWD has been so busy lately with the increasing victims of numerous calamities and other projects for indigents,” Sarmiento added.

“I wonder what the role of the DSWD will be in the future, because the development of the child does not refer to the curricular component only which the DepEd is mandated, but included also is really taking care of the child,” according to Rep. Mariano Piamonte, Jr. (Party-list, A Teacher).

Rep. Thelma Almario, (2nd District, Davao Oriental), Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, also an author of the measure, said the conflicting views on the bill can be settled only if all the
stakeholders are present during the hearing.

“Let us invite also the LGUs and NGOs concerned to give their opinions.  Also, I found this bill voluminous and this worries me for this may lead to different interpretations, especially in the making
of the Implementing Rules and Regulations,” Almario said.

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