Phonics was identified as one of the FIVE pillars of reading by the National Reading Panel in 2000. Yet, many programs still do not teach phonics explicitly.
Phonics helps kids understand the structure of our language which helps with both reading and spelling. It is important to follow a scope and sequence when teaching phonics, however, there is no right or way to teach the skills. There is no research showing that one scope and sequence is better than another.