Press Release
June 7, 2014


Ahead of the Independence Day celebrations, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that the country's schools should instill in children a sense of service to their communities.

"As early as kindergarten, children should be taught nationalism and patriotism beyond singing the national anthem and other memorized lines," Santiago said.

Santiago proposed that Filipino children should be encouraged to engage in community work to give them a mix of work experience and life skills education.

Santiago's Senate Bill No. 1878, also known as the "Service to the Philippines Bill", seeks to establish a government program that will offer students opportunities to serve their communities.

"Children who engage in community service early in their lives will understand the responsibilities that come with citizenship. A firm grasp of public service in their formative years will teach them teamwork, decision making, and problem solving" she said.

Santiago's bill establishes a national program that will provide service opportunities for students as well as out-of-school youth. Service opportunities include programs or projects enabling the youth to perform meaningful and constructive service to their communities.

"Through community service, students will gather firsthand experience in the country's social realities. This program will help the youth fulfill their role in nation-building," she said.

The bill aims to incorporate service opportunities in school curriculum as a separate subject that will require students to undergo community service before they graduate in each level of schooling.

"We should tirelessly remind our children that they are Filipinos first before they become lawyers, doctors, and engineers," Santiago said.

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