MANILA—The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill requiring students between kindergarten and Grade 3 to take up a subject on good manners and right conduct (GMRC).
All 225 lawmakers approved House Bill (HB) 5829 after the third reading.
The substitute measure consolidates HB 1 authored by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, HB 609 by Antipolo Rep. Resureccion Acop, HB 721 by Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, HB 3970 by Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, and HB 4259 by Bulacan Rep. Lorna Silverio.
The bill, which takes into account the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao Curriculum of the Department of Education's (DepEd) K-12 program, defines GMRC as basic social values and etiquette.
In his explanatory note for HB 1, Cayetano said: "In the advent of social media and how it has evolved to be indispensable in our daily lives, it is important that etiquette and moral uprightness is also introduced and taught for all of us to keep up with the modern era and act accordingly to a customary set of behavior."
He added: "As the Philippines develops and [our] economy grows, it is essential that we do not forget who we are as a people, our divine purpose, and duties to our nation.”
A Senate version of the bill already had committee approval and is waiting to be passed on its second and third reading in the legislative chamber.
Once the 3rd reading is approved, the measure will be passed to President Rodrigo Duterte to be enacted into law.