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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On the K12


Troy Colmenares
I hope this helps everyone.
Nature of the Case
A novel issue questioning the extent of authority that the Bicameral Conference Committee has in the event of conflicting Upper and Lower House bills involving the same subject matter.
Right of Action
1. The Honorable Court is duty-bound to strike down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction;
2. The Honorable Court’s exercise of its judicial power to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine that R.A. 10533 has not been duly enacted and did not accordingly become law.
3. Being members of the educational community, for itself and in behalf of all the real parties-in-interest, which is no other than the public itself similarly situated who are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the Honorable Court.
4. The right of a citizen to vindicate the publics’ right as the issues involved and presented are of transcendental importance.
Cause of Action
Infringement of the following constitutional provisions:
1. The “three reading rule” and “no amendment rule” of Article VI, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:
No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal,
by virtue of serious and substantial amendments introduced after the third reading and the Bicameral Conference Committee Report.
2. Usurpation of Legislative Power by the Bicameral Conference Committee as provided in ART VI, SEC 1 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:
The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.
Remedy Sought
1. Strike down as unconstitutional R.A. 10533, otherwise known as, based on the following serious and substantial discrepancies found therein in relation to the Bicameral Conference Committee Report contained in Senate Journal 52 (30 January 2013):
a. Sec. 5;
b. Sec. 6;
c. Sec. 7;
d. Sec. 8;
e. Sec. 9;
f. Sec. 12;
g. Sec. 13;
h. Sec. 14;
i. Sec. 15;
j. Sec. 18;
2. A temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the Department of Education (DepEd) and other implementing agencies to cease from implementing R.A. 10533;
Issues
1. Did R.A. 10533 accordingly become a law?
1.1. Is R.A. 10533 unduly enacted?
1.2. Was there grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction?
1.2.1. Can a Bicameral Conference Committee validly introduce amendments that were not contained in the following:
1.2.1.1. respective bills of the Senate and the House of Representatives?
1.2.1.2. Bicameral Conference Committee Report?
Material Facts
I. Before Congressional Deliberations (2010-2013)
A. Promise #21: K-12 Program
• July 25, 2010
o the President of the Philippines
• wanted
• to add two years to our basic education.
• at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding.
• announced
• ”My education team has designed a way to go from our current 10 years xxx to a K-12 system in five years starting SY 2011-12. Kindergarten (K) to Grade 12 is what the rest of the world gives their children.
B. April 17, 2012
• The Department of Education (DepEd) issues DepEd Order No. 31, s. 2012 containing the “POLICY GUIDELINES ON THE IMPLEMENTATIONS OF GRADES 1 TO 10 OF THE K TO 12 BASIC EDUCATION CURRICULUM EFFECTIVE SCHOOL YEAR 2012-2013”
• K-12 is not a law as of this time. There was only Kindergarten + Grade 6 + 4 years in highs chool.
• Enclosure No. 1 of this Order allocated no time for Science in Grades 1 and 2.
II. The Passage of the House Bill
A. June 5, 2012
In a senate committee hearing on bills regarding education, Sen. Trillanes is reportedly quoted saying
“This K to 12 program apparently is being forced on everybody else, on the parents, the school children and teachers without an enabling law.”
B. September 24, 2012
• Senate’s K-12 version (SBN 3286) has been recommended for approval.
C. October 8, 2012
• The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) a statement urging the “xxx HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES TO HASTEN THE PASSAGE INTO LAW OF THE ‘ENHANCED BASIC EDUCATION ACT OF 2012’ OR THE K-12 BILL”
• Senate transferred SBN 3286 from the Ordinary Calendar for Business to the Calendar for Special Order
D. October 15, 2012
• one week after the COCOPEA statement in PDI, the Lower House filed and read HBN 6643 (Lower House’s K-12 version)
E. Date of approval of the bills
2nd Reading 3rd Reading
HBN 6643 October 17, 2012 November 19, 2012
SBN 3286 December 18, 2012 January 21, 2013
• “…Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed…” (Article VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution). Thus, no amendment after:
F. January 23, 2013
• Senate requested a bicameral conference committee (BICAM) to the House of Representatives [to deliberate on the disagreeing provisions of SBN 3286 and HBN 6643]
• This is allowed under
o Rule XII, Section 35 of the Rules of the Senate
• “…Each Conference Committee Report shall contain a detailed and sufficiently explicit statement of the changes in, or amendments to the subject measure…”
o Sections 88 and 89, Rule XIV of the Rules of the House of Representatives
• “…In resolving the differences with the Senate, the House panel shall, as much as possible, adhere to and support the [Lower] House Bill…”
• “….Each report shall contain a detailed, sufficiently explicit statement of the changes in or amendments to the subject measure…”
G. January 30, 2013
• Senate approved the BICAM Conference Committee Report submitted to it containing the reconciled version of HBN 6643 and SBN 3286.
• Senate Journal No. 52 (dated 30 January 2013) contains the “JOINT EXPLANATION OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON THE DISAGREEING PROVISIONS OF SENATE BILL NO. 3286 AND HOUSE BILL NO. 6643”
H. February 5, 2013
• House of Representatives approved the Conference Committee Report, although the effective date was 30 January 2014.
I. April 15, 2013
• enrolled copies of the consolidated version of SBN 3286 and HBN 6643 were finally approved by both houses
J. April 16, 2013
• the consolidated version was sent to the President of the Philippines for signature and approval
K. May 15, 2013
• enrolled bill was approved and signed into law
III. BICAM Report and observations
1) Section 5 of the House version was adopted as Section 5 of the reconciled bill;
o Sec 5 of R.A. 10533 excludes Sec 5(b), 5(c) and 5(f) of HBN 6643
o Sec 5(f) of HBN 6643 that “xxx Mathematics and Science shall be introduced as early as Grade 1 xxx”
o DepEd, even prior to the passage of R.A. 10533, or indeed SBN 3286 and HBN 6643, issued DepEd Order No. 31, s. 2012, which explicitly did not to allocate a time for Science in Grades 1 and 2. In fact, the DepEd Secretary is quoted in the Manila Bulletin on 24 January 2012 for saying:
“For instance, there will be no Science subject in Grade 1 but when the students do the readings, there will be Science concepts introduced but Science is not the subject.”
2) Section 6, paragraph 1 of the House version was adopted as Section 6 of the reconciled version with the following amendments:
a. Include the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in the membership of the Consultative Committee; and
b. Require the Consultative Committee to submit a report every two (2) years.
o The legislature specified which members of the educational community shall form part of the envisioned Curriculum Consultative Committee – namely, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), association of private and public schools, teachers organization, parent-teachers association and elders of the indigenous peoples communities. It also added in the bicameral conference committee the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA).
o These enumerations were deleted.
3) Section 7 of the House version was adopted as Section 7 of the reconciled version;
o During the bicameral conference committee, both Senate and Congress agreed to use SBN 3286 as a working draft. SEC 7 of SBN 3286 should have been adopted as SEC 8 of the reconciled version, and SEC 7 of HBN 6643 should have been adopted as SEC 7 of the reconciled version. This was not the case. The passage of R.A. 10533 lost SEC. 7 of HBN 6643.
4) Section 7 of the Senate version was adopted as Section 8 of the reconciled version;
o The legislators intended SEC 7 of SBN 3286 to be SEC 8 of the reconciled version. Instead, it appeared as SEC 7 of R.A. 10533 which replaced SEC 7 of HBN 6643, which should have been SEC 7 of the enrolled bill.
5) Section 8 of the Senate version was adopted as Section 9 of the reconciled version with the following amendments:
a. On the first paragraph between the words “institutions” and “hire,” delete the word “may” and in lieu thereof, insert the word “shall”;
b. On paragraph [a], after the word “Licensure,” delete the word “Exam,” and in lieu thereof, insert the word “Examinations”; and
c. On paragraph [c], after the word “relevant,” delete the phrase “Master’s degree, or Master’s degree with relevant professional license,” and in lieu thereof, insert the words “Bachelor’s degree.”;
o The legislators intended SEC 8 of SBN 3286 to be SEC 9 of the reconciled version. Instead, it appeared as SEC 8 of R.A. 10533.
o The word “exam” does not appear on paragraph [a] of SEC 8 of SBN 3286.
6) Section 10 of the Senate version was adopted as Section 10 of the reconciled version with amendment to insert the words “or accredited” between the words “developed” and “by”;
o The legislators intended for SEC 10 of SBN 3286 to be SEC 10 of the reconciled version. Instead, it appeared as SEC 9 of R.A. 10533.
o SEC 10 of SBN 3286 does not contain the words “developed” and “by”.
o SEC 9 of R.A. 10533 contains the statement “Provided, That they undergo a training program to be developed or accredited by the DepED.”
7) Sections 11 and 13 of the Senate version were adopted as Sections 11 and 12 o f the reconciled version;
o The legislature intended for SEC 11 and SEC 13 of SBN 3286 to be SEC 11 and 12 of the reconciled version, respectively. Instead, they appeared as SEC 10 and SEC 11 in R.A. 10533.
8) Sections 14,15, and 17 of the Senate version were adopted as Sections 13, 14 and 15 of the reconciled version;
o The legislative intended for SEC 14, SEC 15, and SEC 17 of SBN 3286 to be SEC 13, 14, and 15 of the reconciled version, respectively. Instead, SEC 14 of SBN 3286 appeared as SEC 12 of R.A. 10533, SEC 15 appeared as SEC 17 of R.A. 10533, and SEC 17 appeared as SEC 19 of R.A. 10533.
o The provision on the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Enhanced Basic Educational Program (K to 12 Program) appears in SEC 13 of R.A. 10533, but the same never appeared in the third readings of SBN 3286 and HBN 6643, respectively. The same is true for SEC 14 and SEC 15 of R.A. 10533.
9) Sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Senate version were adopted as Sections 17, 18 and 19 of the reconciled version;
o Line 41 of SBN 3286 ends with SEC 17. Effectivity Clause. The last word seen in SBN 3286 is “Approved,”. There are no sections 18, 19 and 20 in SBN 3286.
o SEC 17 and SEC 19 of R.A. 10533 appears as SEC 15 and SEC 17 of SBN 3286.
o The provision in SEC 16 of SBN 3286, “Republic Act 1425 or the inclusion in the College Curricula, The Life, Works and Writings of Jose Rizal” have been deleted.

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