Congressmen want to bring back Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) subject in schools ‘to introduce and teach etiquette and moral uprightness to students at an early age.’
The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 5829 which institutionalizes GMRC as part of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s K to 12 curriculum and creates a separate GMRC subject for students in kindergarten to third grade.
The members of the House voted unanimously for the proposed GMRC Act with 225 affirmative and 0 negative votes. If enacted into law, the curriculum will focus on the basic tenets of good manners and right conduct such as caring for oneself, giving concern for others, according proper respect to people, upholding discipline and order, and cultivating sincerity, honesty, obedience, and above all, love for country.
Under the measure, the DepEd shall be directed to conduct appropriate training for teachers and educators in kindergarten to grade three on GMRC.
H.B. 5829 is a consolidated version of nine other bills, including House Speaker Alan Peter “Compañero” S. Cayetano’s H.B. No. 1 entitled “An Act Institutionalizing a National Values, Etiquette, and Moral Uprightness Program.”
Cayetano cited the need to strengthen the common core values and inculcate universally acceptable moral standards among the Filipino youth.
He said amid the rise of the digital age and increased exposure to the internet and social media, it is important to introduce and teach etiquette and moral uprightness to students at an early age to preserve the values and identity of Filipinos.
In his sponsorship speech on 28 January 2020, Representative Roman Romulo of the Lone District of Pasig City said many parents and teachers are concerned that with technology moving quite fast, “most of our learners are being influenced by technology advancements, including social media.”
“The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture believes that the institutionalization of these good manners and right conduct will provide a balance, so that our learners from kinder to grade three, at that prime age, will be able to realize the proper conduct and patriotism and love for country,” he said.
Cayetano thanked the 18th Congress for supporting the bill, which he said specifies human dignity, self-respect, humanitarianism, and patriotism as the primary values to be taught to students.
“It has been more than a decade since we removed the GMRC in our basic education curriculum. While they say that the teaching of the GMRC has been included in the teaching of other subjects such as Araling Panlipunan and Math, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of institutionalizing a separate subject that will teach our students our traditional Filipino values,” he said.
“I thank my colleagues in the 18th Congress for supporting this very timely bill. This is definitely a big step in promoting the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being of our youth,” he added.
H.B. 5829 is also co-authored by Representatives Resurrecion Acop, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Lorna Silverio, Romulo Peña, Eduardo Villanueva, Domingo Rivera, Precious Hipolito Castelo, Florencio Gabriel Noel, Roman Romulo, Estrellita Suansing, Pablo John Garcia, Joel Mayo Almario, Deogracias Victor Savellano, Raul Del Mar, Cesar Jimenez, Ron Salo, Jose Singson Jr., Kristine Singson Meehan, Noel Villanueva, Edgar Chatto, Eric Olivarez, Joseph Lara, Geraldine Roman, Micaela Violago, Marisol Panotes, Adriano Ebcas, Joy Myra Tambunting, Jorge Antonio Bustos, Rosanna Vergara, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Abraham Tolentino, John Marvin Nieto, Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, and Tyrone Agabas. (via Congress.gov.ph | Photo by USAID)