The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) is urgently prioritizing the passage of the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act in line with the government’s commitment to recover students’ learning losses during the pandemic and raise the quality of education in the country.

The ARAL Program Act is one of the 20 priority measures targeted for passage by June this year. The Council reached this agreement during its fourth meeting today, March 19, 2024. LEDAC serves as a consultative and advisory body to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on programs and policies essential to attaining the country’s socioeconomic goals.

In the Philippine Development Report 2023, improving access to quality education to address learning poverty in the country is marked as a top priority, as the quality of Philippine education has been falling behind those of its neighbors, according to the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022.

“No less than fundamental transformation is required in our education sector to address longstanding issues that have resulted in low productivity and job mismatches for our workers,” said National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

The ARAL Program Bill, filed by Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, seeks to establish a national learning intervention program with the two-fold objective of helping learners catch up with the required standard of their respective grade levels while accelerating the recovery of the learning losses incurred during the pandemic.

“Considering the dizzying pace of technological developments, we have no time to waste if we want to ensure that Filipinos can realize their full potential. Our students need all the support they can get – not just to regain lost ground, but also so that they can adapt to the emergence of new tools in an increasingly complex world. Urgently implementing the necessary interventions now will enable them to participate in, and benefit from, the envisioned socioeconomic transformation we hope to achieve,” the NEDA chief said.

The other priority bills on LEDAC’s priority list focus on agriculture, environment, defense, and digitalization, among other areas. The streamlined list of priority bills targeted for passage by June 2024 are the following:

  1. Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act;
  2. Self-Reliant Defense Posture Revitalization Act;
  3. Philippine Maritime Zones Act;
  4. Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act;
  5. Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS);
  6. Negros Island Region;
  7. Anti-Financial Accounts Scamming Act (AFASA);
  8. VAT on Digital Services;
  9. Amendments to the Government Procurement Reform Act;
  10. Blue Economy Act;
  11. Waste-to-Energy Bill;
  12. Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC);
  13. Unified System of Separation, Retirement and Pension of Military and Uniformed Personnel;
  14. E-Government Act / E-Governance Act;
  15. Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act;
  16. Department of Water Resources;
  17. Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Maximize Opportunities for Reinvigorating the Economy (CREATE MORE) bill;
  18. Enterprise-Based Education and Training (EBET) Program Act;
  19. Open Access in Data Transmission Act; and
  20. Amendments to the Universal Health Care Act.

Source: (Media Release)