Press Release
October 29, 2019

SBN 860 - "Comprehensive Values Education Bill"

[It's my honor to sponsor Senate Bill No. 860 or "An Act Instituting Values Education in the K-12 Curriculum and Enhancing the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao Program by Incorporating the Teaching of Good Manners and Right Conduct or GMRC and Including Character Building Activities". In short, the "Comprehensive Values Education Act".]

Why Comprehensive Values Education?

If we look at the Constitution's citations on the importance of education, it is obvious that it sees education primarily as values formation. Education is seen in one instance as the formation of patriotic ideals among the youth. In another, it is the formation of the values of excellence and distinction. In still another, it is recognized as the formation of the values of critical thinking, of scientific inquiry, of strong moral fiber among Filipinos. The Constitution sees education as formation of good Filipino values.

We can't discount the fact that Values Education or Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (ESP) is already included in the DepEd curriculum, yet, there is a clamor for the revival of Good Manners and Right Conduct or GMRC in the curriculum, and this clamor is indeed proper, given the realities that we observe in our manners of conducting the affairs of the various aspects of our daily lives as Filipinos.

Now, do we need to scrap Values Education or ESP in the DedEd Curriculum and replace it with GMRC? No. This representation believes that Values Education is more comprehensive and more foundational than mere teaching of GMRC. Values Education answers better to our being human - iyong ating pagkatao; and becoming human - iyon pong sinasabi nating "pagpapakatao" than mere GMRC.

Mr. Chairman, Values Education embraces the whole person. That's why our version of the bill recognizes that the present Values Education curriculum is incomplete; and it is for this reason that we propose the inclusion of the teaching of Good Manners and Right Conduct and of Character-Building Activities in Values Education curriculum.

Mr. Chairman, our version of the bill hopes to educate the whole person - mind, attitude, and behavior. Educating the youth in the free understanding, desiring, and owning of actions proper to the human person (i.e. GMRC) is the greatest and noblest, yet, but only one aspect of the comprehensive Values Education Curriculum.

I'm sure that you will all agree with me that the teaching of Good Manners and Right Conduct is an essential aspect of an authentic and comprehensive Values Education Curriculum. Learners are to be given the chance to learn and practice practical and acceptable manners of conducting daily affairs according to the universal norms of ethics and morality; like for example, proper way of dressing, of dining, walking, speaking, among many other things in the different situations and dimensions of life.

Furthermore, let me state Mr. Chairman that Character Building Activities are necessary components of the Comprehensive Values Education curriculum where students are given actual opportunities to practice, experience, test, and deepen whatever is taught and caught in the other aspects of the Comprehensive Values Education Curriculum.

Ano po ba ang mga iniisip nating Character Building Activities? Maaring kasama po rito ang immersions, exposures, outreach activities, community service, among other activities that provide learners the opportunity to practice and embody values in actual and authentic situations.

Mr. Chairman, our version of the bill proposes an authentic Comprehensive Values Education curriculum according to the principles of the 1987 Constitution and the worldview and psyche of the Filipino people.

Salamat po.

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