A bill creating a Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) that will undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluate the performance of the Philippine education sector lapsed into law on July 23.

Republic Act 11899, or the EDCOM 2 Act, a copy of which was obtained by The Manila Times, lapsed into law without the signature of former president Rodrigo Duterte after it had been passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 23, 2022.

Legislative measures lapse into law if the President does not take action — approve or veto — within 30 days from the receipt of the proposals.

EDCOM 2 would be composed of 10 members — five from the Senate and five from the House of Representatives.

The Chairmen of the Senate Committees on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, and on Higher, Technical and Vocation Education, and the Chairmen of the House Committees on Basic Education and Culture and on Higher and Technical Education will jointly head the Commission, while other three members from the Senate and the House will be designated by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House respectively.

The Philippines Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) will serve as the research arm of EDCOM 2 to produce data-based research and provide analysis to contribute to the formulation of education policy recommendations.

According to the law, EDCOM 2 should accomplish its mandate within three years of its organization.

The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) expressed support for the EDCOM 2 to assess and evaluate the Philippine education sector and act on reforms to improve the country's education system and support the youth on skills and tools for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

PBEd expects that EDCOM 2 would include private sector involvement in the conduct of the education sector review.

"Business and industry voice in EDCOM 2 is imperative because it will allow for alignment and integration of the content, approach, and direction of the education system with their needs. This will ensure that all learners will meet the expected basic skills necessary to lead productive lives," PBEd President Dr. Chito Salazar said.

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