Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking the institutionalization of effective parenting that will build the knowledge and skills of parents and parent substitutes to provide quality care during the critical stages of learners’ development.
Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 1985 or the Parent Effectiveness Service (PES) Program Act which aims to empower and capacitate parents and guardians in their roles, especially amid the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed learners to problems of distance learning, psychosocial issues, and increased risks of violence and abuse.
Statistics show the parents’ dilemma with their children. From January to March 2020, 129 adolescents, some were as young as 10 years old, were diagnosed to have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 2019, around 500 teenage girls have given birth. Out of the country’s population in 2017 of 39.2 million Filipinos aged 6-24 years old, 9.1% represented out-of-school children and youth (OSCY).
The proposed measure covers fathers and mothers, surrogate parents, and caretakers of children below 18 years old. The PES, which will be established in every city and municipality, will build on the capacity of parents and parent substitutes in responding to their parental duties and responsibilities. The program also aims to protect and promote children’s rights, foster positive early childhood development, and advance children’s educational progress.
“Ang ating mga magulang ang una nating mga guro at mahalaga ang kanilang papel sa iba’t ibang yugto ng edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan. Ngayong panahon ng pandemya, malaking hamon ang kinakaharap ng mga magulang, kaya kailangan ng programang magpapaigting sa kanilang kakayahang gabayan ang kanilang mga anak,” said the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
Included in the PES program modules are the roles and needs of parents and parenting substitutes, the challenges of parenting, child development, keeping children safe from abuse, building the child’s positive behavior, health and nutrition, and keeping a healthy environment for the child, among others.
Parents’ emotional support is positively correlated with test scores based on a Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) discussion paper, citing the dismal results of the Philippines in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).