SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading this week House Bill 6283 which seeks to declare November 17 of every year as National Students’ Day in recognition of the contribution of student activism to Philippine democracy.
The bill, principally authored by Reps. Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon) and Carlos Isagani Zarate (Party-list, Bayan Muna), seeks to acknowledge the value of inculcating love of country and social responsibility among the youth, and support the observance of International Students’ Day which was spearheaded by the International Students’ Council in 1941 to commemorate the execution of nine Czechoslovakian students who fought against the Nazi occupation.
“In accord with the observance of International Students’ Day and in recognition of the invaluable contribution of student activism to Philippine democracy for initiating efforts to foster leadership among Filipino students, November 17 of every year is hereby declared as National Students’ Day,” the bill states.
The bill provides that an annual program of activities for the observance of National Students’ Day shall be prepared and implemented, with the National Youth Commission (NYC) serving as the lead agency.
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shall support the NYC in all efforts to facilitate and promote related activities to all public and private schools.
Under the proposed law, all schools, colleges and universities are encouraged to extend their full support for exercises and activities launched by students during the observance of National Students’ Day.
“The bill’s passage is likewise in keeping with the avowed duty of the State to inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and an opportunity to harness the power of collaboration between students and to encourage meaningful youth involvement,” said Escudero.
Since it was first commemorated in London by the International Students’ Council in 1941, the tradition has been kept by various student organizations worldwide. “In the Philippines, the time has come for Congress to formally recognize the celebration of International Students’ Day as part of its commitment to legislate laws for the youth’s social, intellectual, and moral development,” said Zarate.
“The student movement continues to demonstrate its unfailing commitment to fight against all forms of discrimination, oppression and injustice. Education for all is a call continuously made by groups such as the National Union of Students of the Philippines, the League of Filipino Students, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines,” said Zarate.
Aside from Escudero and Zarate, Reps. Ramon Durano VI (5th District, Cebu), chairman of the committee on basic education and culture, and Ann Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay), chairperson of the committee on higher and technical education, sponsored the bill on the floor.
Durano urged his colleagues involved in education to craft laws that would alleviate the welfare of the students and invest in the improvement of their society.
Hofer said the annual celebration is an opportunity to create and build a positive relationship among students and a day to dedicate and promote social responsibility.
The bill is also authored by Reps. Christopher De Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), Mark Go (Lone Distrcit, Baguio City), Pablo Ortega (1st District, La Union), Federico Sandoval (Lone District, Malabon City), Fredenil Castro (2nd District, Capiz), Micaela Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecija), Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zambonga City), Mercedes Cagas (Lone District, Davao del Sur), Michelle Antonio (Party list, Agbiag), Lorna Batutista-Bandigan (Lone District, Davao Oriental), Sarah Jane Elago (Party list Kabataan), rose marie Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan), Carlito Marquez (Lone District, Aklan), Luisa Lloren (Lone District, Nueva Viscaya), Ruwel Peter Gonzaga (2nd District, Compostela Valley), Salvdor Belaro Jr. (Party list, 1-Ang Edukasyon), Gabriel Bordado (3rd District, Camarines Sur), aurelio Gonzales (3rd District, Pampanga), Lianda Bolilia (4th District, Batangas), Fernando Gonzales (3rd District, Albay), Jesulito Manalo (Party list, Angkla) and Glona Labadlabad (2nd district, Zamboanga del Norte). / RBB/EAG