The newly-formed Regional Development Council (RDC) Ad Hoc Committee on K to 12 chaired by Dir. Diosdado M. San Antonio of the  DepEd Region IV-A, together with Vice-Chair Dir. Luis G. Banua of the  NEDA Regional Office (NRO) IV-A, conducted its organizational meeting on  August 18 at the National Educators Academy of the Philippines, Malvar, Batangas. Present in the meeting were officials of 6 regional line agencies, 2 private sector representatives, 6 universities and colleges (SUCs), and 2 parents-teachers association (PTA). The local government units (LGUs)  were represented by Cavite Province.

In his opening message, Dir. San Antonio thanked the RDC for the creation of the committee. He added that, per his knowledge, this is the first RDC Committee on K to 12 in the country.

Moreover, Dir. San Antonio informed the body of the following: (a) updates on Senior High School preparation; (b) benefits of the Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program for  students and schools; (c) partnership opportunities with Higher Education Institutions and Industries; and (d) Division Action Plan on K to 12. The Division Action Plans of Quezon Province (by Dr. Tolentino Aquino) and Bacoor City (by Dr. Ruth Fuentes) were presented to gauge the readiness of the school divisions on K to 12.

Dir. San Antonio clarified the concerns of the SUCs on the deadline of filing of application for provisional permit to operate  SHS  program for school year 2016 to 2017 as well as queries on the implementation of the voucher system. He also noted the concerns of the PTA representatives as to the status of the classrooms.

Meanwhile, Dir. Banua reported the functions of the K to 12 Committee. He also informed the body that the RDC created a technical working group (TWG) to strengthen Academe-Industry Linkages and to               address the issue of mismatch of graduates with the employment demand. The TWG will likewise support the K to 12 program especially on the area of technical-vocational education.

The University of the Philippines (Los Banos) and the five state universities – Batangas State University, Cavite State University, Laguna State Polytechnic University, University of Rizal System and Southern Luzon State University as well as the representative of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities shared their initiatives on K to 12 and expressed their support to the program.

Engr. Josephine Baquiran of the DPWH Region IV-A, on the other hand,  presented the status of the construction of classrooms in the region in response to the concerns raised by the PTAs representatives, Ms. Rowena Arellano (Division of Batangas Province) and Mr. Joseph Paluyo (Division of Antipolo City).

The members expressed their appreciation for the conduct of the meeting and said they were able to understand the program more and would help advocate the K to 12 program.