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SC junks petitions, upholds K-12 program constitutionality

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the controversial Kindergarten to Grade 12 or K to 12 program as it junked all the petitions against Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 and Republic Act No. 10157 or the Kindergarten Education Act.

"Wherefore, the consolidated petitions are hereby denied. Accordingly, the Court declares the Republic Act No. 10533, Republic Act No. 10157... as Constitutional," the Supreme Court said in its ruling.

Also declared constitutional are the related issuances from the Commission on Higher Education and Department of Education.

"The Court, despite its vast powers, will not review the wisdom, merits, or propriety of governmental policies, but will strike them down only on either of two grounds: (1) unconstitutionality or illegality and/or (2) grave abuse of discretion."

"For having failed to show any of the above in the passage of the assailed law and the department issuances, the petitioners' remedy thus lies not with the Court, but with the executive and legislative branches of the government."

The RA 10533, which paved the way for the Philippine education system to the K to 12 program, was signed into law in 2013 by then President Benigno Aquino III.

The measure added two more years to the 10-year basic education, with kindergarten, which was institutionalized as part of the basic education system under the RA 10157.

At the same time, the high court lifted the temporary restraining order dated April 21, 2015 on the exclusion of Filipino, Panitikan as core college courses.

The petitioners earlier said the K-12 program “denied the school’s students the education they are entitled to as gifted and talented learners.” 

The petitioners also said Congress violated the students’ rights to due process, to equal protection, and to select a course of study when it crafted RA 10533, “by unfairly and unreasonably requiring them to attend two additional years of senior high school as a pre-condition to entry to college." —Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News