WITH an overwhelming 209 votes, the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has approved on third and final reading the proposed "Parent-Teacher and Community Association (PTCA) Act” principally sponsored by House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez.
The Romualdez’s couple House Bill (HB) 6139 seeks to further promote the welfare and rights of children by harnessing the synergy of parents, school authorities and mentors, and the community in the youth’s upbringing and development.
Martin Romualdez is chairman of the powerful House committee on rules and Yedda Romualdez is the chairperson of the House committee on the welfare of children.
The bill seeks to amend Article 77, Chapter II of Presidential Decree No. 603, also known as “The Child and Youth Welfare Code”, to require government and private basic education schools to organize a PTCA.
In the authors’ explanatory note, they pointed out that synergetic relations between home and school in child development become even more prominent in light of studies showing that such collaboration leads to a well-rounded, stable, and sociable person. Hence, it is imperative that an integrative and coordinative mechanism for a total children and youth development program involving parents and teachers, among others, be institutionalized and enhanced.
"The PTCAs shall serve as a powerful voice for the welfare of school children, a relevant tool for engagement by their families and the communities that they live in, and a strong advocate for basic education,” said the Romualdezes.
The bill mandates the PTCA to undertake the following duties and functions: (a) create a development program for children; (b) ensure the full cooperation of parents, teachers, and other community stakeholders in the efficient implementation of said development programs; (c) consult the children at all times, through their student councils in the planning and implementations of projects and programs; (d) serve as an avenue for local stakeholders to address children’s concerns in schools and communities; (e) assist the municipal and other local authorities and school officials in the implementation of PTCA activities; (f) raise awareness and support the implementations of the school’s child protection issues and policies; and (g) assess the implementation of basic education programs, among others.
It mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to formulate the rules, which shall advance the purpose of the proposed Act, and ensure the compliance of basic education schools in organizing their respective PTCAs.