The 1987 Philippine Constitution lays down the foundation of the Philippine education system and protects the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels.
The table below summarizes significant reforms enacted into law toward attaining constitutional provisions, national goals, and international commitments for SDG 2030.
Table of Contents
Major Education Laws
Table 1: Legislative and Executive Issuances on Education
|Legislative and Executive Issuances/Date||Short Title||Salient Features|
May 18, 1994
|Higher Education Act||An act creating the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that separates colleges and universities from the Department of Education, providing its own independence, having the right to practice academic freedom and exercise such policies granted for its benefits.|
August 25, 1994
|TESDA Act||Creation of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to promote and strengthen the quality of technical education and skills development.|
February 24, 1998
|GASTPE Law||Provide the mechanisms to improve quality in private education by maximizing the use of existing resources of private education, recognizing in the process the government’s responsibility to provide basic elementary and secondary education, post-secondary vocational and technical education and higher education as having priority over its other functions.|
August 11, 2001
|Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001||Renamed agency from the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) to Department of Education (DepEd);|
Stressed the importance of shared governance between and among the national/ central, regional, and division offices.
Institutionalization of Kindergarten Education, i.e. Kindergarten as mandatory and made an integral part of the basic education system;
Enacted “in consonance with the Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015”;
Adoption of the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) program.
|DO 16, s 2012 |
|Mother Tongue-Based- Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE)||Guidelines on the Implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based- Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE)|
|EO 83, s. 2012||Institutionalization of the Philippine Qualifications Framework||Objectives of PQF:|
Adopt national standards and levels for outcomes of education;
Enable accessibility/flexibility/mobility in education, training, labor, and other industries;
Align with international QF.
Took off from the Social Reform Agenda (SRA) embodied in EO 43 dated May 13, 2011.
|RA 10410 |
March 6, 2013
|Early Years Act (EYA) of 2013||Recognition of 0-8 years as the first crucial stage of educational development;|
Strengthening of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) system.
May 15, 2013
|Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013||Defined Enhance Basic Education Programs as encompassing the following number of years in education:|
At least 1 year of Kindergarten;
6 years of elementary;
6 years of secondary which includes 4 years of junior high school and 2 years of senior high school.
September 12, 2013
|Anti-Bullying Act of 2013||All elementary and secondary schools are directed to adopt policies to address the existence of bullying in their respective institutions.|
|RA 10647 |
November 21, 2014
|Ladderized Education Act||Institutionalize the ladderized interface between technical-vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education to open the pathways of opportunities for career and educational progression of students and workers, create a seamless and borderless system of education, empower students and workers to exercise options or to choose when to enter and exit in the educational ladder, and provide job platforms at every exit as well as the opportunity to earn income.|
July 9, 2015
|Open High School System Act||Broaden access to relevant quality education through the employment of an alternative secondary education program that will enable the youth to overcome personal, geographical, socioeconomic, and physical constraints, to encourage them to complete secondary education.|
|DepEd Order No. 52, s. 2015|
|New Organizational Structures of the Central, Regional, and Schools Division Offices of the Department of Education||Implementation of the DepEd Rationalization Plan (RatPlan) as approved by the Department of Budget and Management on November 15, 2013;|
Issued pursuant to RA 9155 and EO 66, s. 2004.
|DepEd Order No. 55, s. 2016|
|National Assessment of Student Learning||Policy Guidelines for the National Assessment of Student Learning for the K to 12 Basic Education Program.|
|DepEd Order 10, s. 2016|
|Policy and Guidelines for the Comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools (WinS) Program||Aims to ensure correct knowledge and understanding among learners of effective hygiene and sanitation projects; improve equitable access to safe water, adequate toilets, and hand washing facilities; improve hygiene and sanitation practices among the learners to enable them to develop life-long positive hygiene and sanitation behaviors; ensure that schools are kept clean and safe through school-based solid waste management, proper drainage, the elimination of breeding grounds for mosquitoes to prevent vector-borne diseases, and food sanitation; and engage public and private partners for program implementation and sustainability.|
|DO 32 s. 2017, June 29||Gender-Responsive Basic Education Policy||DepEd commits to integrating the principles of gender equality, gender equity, gender sensitivity, non-discrimination, and human rights, in the provision and governance of basic education.|
August 3, 2017
|Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act||The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act is a law in the Philippines that institutionalizes free tuition and exemption from other fees in state universities and colleges, local universities, and colleges in the Philippines.|
January 16, 2018
|Philippine Qualifications Framework Act||Institutionalize the Philippine Qualifications Framework to encourage lifelong learning of individuals, provide employees specific training standards, ensure that training and education institutions comply with specific standards and are held accountable for achieving corresponding learning outcomes and provide government with a common taxonomy and qualifications typology as bases for recognizing education and training programs as well as the qualifications formally awarded and their equivalents.|
|RA 11206 |
February 14, 2019
|Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Act||Institutionalize a career guidance and counseling program;|
Equip secondary education students with the capability to make educated career decisions and expose them to relevant labor markets;
Ensure graduates of tertiary education meet the requirements of the government, industry and the economy.
|DO 21 s. 2019|
|Policy Guidelines on the K to 12 Basic Education Program||Articulates the context, features and programs of the K to 12 program across key stages;|
Provides a framework for monitoring and evaluation, as well as a reference point for ongoing/future review of any of the components of the program.
December 23, 2020
|Alternative Learning System Act||Provide the out-of-school children in special cases and adults with opportunities to improve their knowledge, values, life skills, and readiness for higher education, work, or self-employment through a system of nonformal or indigenous education, or both which are tailored to respond to their learning needs and life circumstances.|
Aside from education-specific issuances, other laws and policies issued over the past decade have important implications on the country’s education system. Some of these are highlighted below.
Table 2: Selected Laws and Issuances with implications on Education
|Legislative and Executive Issuances/Date||Short Title||Salient Features|
August 15, 2012
|Data Privacy Act of 2012||Provides for the protection to individuals from unauthorized processing of personal information, “the fundamental human right of privacy, of communication, while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth”|
|Philippine Commission on Women, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management Joint Circular No. 2012-01||Guidelines for the|
Preparation of Annual
Gender and Development (GAD) Plans and Budgets and Accomplishment
Reports to Implement the
Magna Carta of Women
|Mandating all agencies to allocate at least five percent (5%) of their annual budget appropriations to support their respective Gender and Development Programs, Activities and Projects|
|RA 10679 |
August 27, 2015
|Youth Entrepreneurship Act||Establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education and training to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit among our youth as well as support and promote the growth of young entrepreneurs nationwide.|
|RA 10821 |
May 18, 2016
|Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act||Establish and implement a comprehensive and strategic program of action to provide the children and pregnant and lactating mothers affected by disasters and other emergency situations with utmost support and assistance necessary for their immediate recovery and protection against all forms of violence, cruelty, discrimination, neglect, abuse, exploitation and other acts prejudicial to their interest, survival, development and well-being.|
|EO 5, s. 2016 |
October 11, 2016
|AmBisyon Natin 2040 as Guide for Development Planning||Statement of 25-Year Long Term Vision: “By 2040, the Philippines shall be a prosperous, predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor; our people shall live long and healthy lives, be smart and innovative and shall live in a high-trust society”, translated in Filipino as having a “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay.”|
|RA 11037 |
June 20, 2018
|Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act (Healthy Food for Filipino|
|Establish a comprehensive national feeding program that will address the problem of undernutrition among Filipino children|
July 26, 2018
|Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao||Provided for the establishment of the autonomous political entity known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao|
|RA 11230 |
February 22, 2019
|Tulong Trabaho Act||Provide for more innovative approaches to TVET linked to the requirement of industry to primarily address unemployment and job-skill mismatch|
|RA 11310 |
April 17, 2019
|Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino|
Program (4Ps) Act
|In pursuit of providing universal primary education, conditional cash transfers to poor families are granted for the enrollment of their children|
A recent development that potentially affects national and local revenue generation, planning, budgeting, and coordination is the Supreme Court decision on the Mandanas Case.
Traditionally, the bulk of resources of LGUs for education currently comes from the Special Education Fund (SEF), which is an additional 1% of the Real Estate tax, based on the Local Government Code of 1991.
With this significant change, LGUs can have a bigger stake in providing educational inputs and implementing programs, projects, and activities. DepEd may also take this opportunity to study redefining its mandate to start focusing on standard setting and monitoring once this ruling is implemented.