By Ben Rosario
House officials on Friday lauded President Duterte’s signing of the Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education Act as a most welcome move towards moral and values transformation as the country prepares for the new normal following the pandemic.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (NP, Pateros-Taguig) and Deputy Speaker Eddie Villanueva (CIBAC Partylist) thanked Duterte for his wholehearted support for the return of GMRC as a separate subject for elementary Grades 1 – 6.
“We believe it is essential that we teach our children, not just to be smart, but also to be good citizens of the country. We need to strengthen their moral and spiritual fiber to help bring out the best in them despite any crisis they may face in the future,” said Cayetano in a statement.
Meanwhile, Villanueva, a renowned evangelist, described the signing of the new law as an additional “milestone in our quest to restore the moral fabric of our society and transform this nation into a God-and-country-loving nation.”
“We believe that in the long run this law will surely have a positive effect in our fight against graft and corruption and in our pursuit of good governance. This is a big win for the Filipino people, particularly for the future generation,” he said.
Cayetano and Villanueva are principal authors of the law in the Lower House.
The GMRC law or RA 11476 also mandates the inculcation among students of the “concepts of human dignity, respect to oneself, giving oneself to others in the spirit of community, and upholding discipline and order,” among others.
The new law replaces the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao curriculum and aside from restoring GMRC as an elementary subject, mandates the integration of the same subject tin the daily learning activities in the kindergarten level.
“When we removed the GMRC in our basic education curriculum, we also removed an essential part of our being Filipino. We began losing our patriotism and love for country and reduced our traditional Filipino values to mere lessons and readings from textbooks. We need to bring these values back into our lives,” Cayetano noted.
For his part, Villanueva said: “The Bible has a prescription that we must train up our youth in the right way they should grow so that when they get old, they will not depart from it. The passage of the GMRC law is an adherence to such Biblical principle and we rejoice in the truth that we are in the right path and we are rightly investing for the future of this nation.”
The newly signed law also creates a separate subject for Values Education in Grades 7 to 10 with the same time allotment as the other core subjects and requires integration in the teaching of classes in Grades 11 to 12.
Values Education will cover universal human, ethical, and moral values with the aim to inculcate among students the basic tenets of the observance of respect for oneself, others, and the elders, gender equity, ecology and integrity of creation, peace and justice, obedience to the law, nationalism, and global citizenship.
It aims to teach the values of patience, perseverance, industry, honesty and integrity, and good faith in dealing with others.