SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian has filed a bill that seeks to achieve zero illiteracy in the country within three years by synchronizing existing programs under a council.

Reaching zero illiteracy is one of the first most important steps to ensure that we have no fellow compatriots being denied a good future,” Mr. Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said in Filipino in a statement on Sunday.

Senate Bill No. 2348 or the National Literacy Council Act filed last Monday renames and strengthens the Literacy Coordinating Council established through Republic Act No. 7165.

The proposed law will integrate the implementation of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) while mobilizing Local School Boards as the de facto local literacy councils.

“In our proposed measure, the role of both ALS and our local governments is of value in order to reach zero illiteracy in the country,” said Mr. Gatchalian.

The 2019 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) showed that six out of 100 Filipinos, five-years-old and over, were illiterate. This means about six million Filipinos cannot properly read or write basic messages. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan