RP TO ESTABLISH RURAL FARM SCHOOLS IN EVERY PROVINCE
Elementary graduates interested to pursue studies in agriculture will find more public and private schools they can enroll in. The implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of Republic Act 10618 known as the Rural Farm Schools Act will be approved soon by DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro this year.
The completion of this guideline is the last step to start the implementation of the law, which paves way for more farm schools in the Philippines.
With full implementation of the law, the government shall make sure that there will be at least one (1) rural farm school in each of the 81 provinces of the country within one year after the approval of the IRR.
RA 10618 institutionalizes farm schools as a parallel learning system and alternative delivery mode of secondary education duly recognized and supervised by the DepEd.
Authored by AAMBIS-Owa Representative Sharon Garin, RA 10618 is approved by the 15th Congress and signed into law by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on September 3, 2013.
The law provides for hands-on learning on the core subjects of the high school curriculum with focus on agri-fisheries, designed to address the needs of children in agricultural and fishing communities.
The tuition and other school fees for public farm schools shall be free; while, only a minimal tuition and other fees for private farm schools shall be imposed.
Dr. Jose Gayo, President of the Philippine Federation of Family Farm/Rural Schools (PHILFEFFARS) lamented that though the Philippines is an agricultural country, there are only 16 farms schools currently operating across the nation and all of them, but one, are privately run.
The 11 rural farm schools which are members of PHILFEFFARS are located in the following provinces and city: Aurora, Rizal, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Lanao Del Norte, Leyte, Tacloban City, Iloilo, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Camarines Sur.
“If this country has any hope of achieving food security and giving people jobs in the agricultural sector, the government must start creating state-run schools for farming now. The future of Philippine agriculture is in our youth,” Rep. Garin, who hails from the farming town of Guimbal, Iloilo, said.
Private organizations who want to support rural farm schools through any donation, contribution or grant shall be exempted from paying donor’s tax and the same shall be considered allowable deduction from the gross income in the computation of income tax of the donor. /MP