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For centuries that we have been dubbed as “The only Christian country in Southeast Asia”, it is for the first time that a bill was written to mandate Bible reading in Filipino schools nationwide.
Minority Floor Leader Congressman Benny M. Abante authored the House Bill 2069 or the Mandatory Bible Reading Act of 2019. Abante’s bill says that the state recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, and social well-being. True enough, we have academic and non-academic programs to support the youth’s holistic development, but we have left out one of the Department of Education’s core value, Maka-Diyos. The bill adds that the responsibility of the nation’s educational institutions is to teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop moral character and personal discipline, and encourage critical and creative thinking. Elementary and high school students are at prime ages for being strengthened in the areas listed above.
In my opinion, if this will be approved and implemented accordingly, it will be a breakthrough for the youth, the schools, the families, and the Philippines as a whole. Fellow educators would agree with me that the morality of the youth have greatly deteriorated today. This generation of our children is no longer God-fearing, their behavior has become unbecoming. This is despite the efforts of parents to give them a more comfortable lifestyle and the labor of teachers in “values education”. There are many factors affecting these observations and there is no blaming here. All I say is that I believe that we as parents and teachers are trying our best to uphold the morality of the youth, but we can only do as much.
It is high time that we let the God of the Christians rule our land by upholding His Word. The House Bill 2069 speaks of no denomination but the Scripture which we give the acronym: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. If it is to guide our way of life, our manners and morality, then we must study it.
By JANET G. CORIA-EN