The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

10 March 2010

Consolidated Special Education Act

By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary

On February 2, 2010, the Senate Joint Committees on Education, Arts and Culture; Ways and Means; and Finance approved on its second hearing the Special Education Act of 2008.

The joint committees approved the following amendments:

1.Consolidating Senate Bill No. 2020, or the Special Education Act of 2008 with House Bill 6740 or the Special Education Act of 2009

2.On appropriations, designating the Secretary of DepED to immediately include the Department’s programs on the implementation of this Act, the funding which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Both bills seek to establish at least one special education center for each school division and at least 3 special education centers in big school divisions for children with special needs; guidelines for government financial assistance and other incentives and support.

Specific provisions in the bill include the creation of Bureau of Special Education; implementation of inclusive education in regular schools; financial assistance economically marginalized but deserving students with special needs (through scholarships grants, transportation, food, board and lodging, books allowances, student loans, tours, training, medical assistance and nutrition programs) ; and continuing education and assistance to teachers/instructors of students, parent, sibling and caregiver education.

As stated in Senate Bill 2020, education is not only a basic human right. Educating special children requires greater commitment because of the existence of distinctive circumstances. Ultimately, our investments in special education may redound to the benefit of society, as the children can develop into future leaders.

The Bill will have its third reading after the May 2010 elections. Let’s vote wisely for the future of our children with autism.

Source: Philippine Senate


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