“Let us honor the great men and women who fought for our nation’s freedom by nurturing future heroes among the ranks of our youth.”
Senator Pia S. Cayetano shared this message to mark this year’s National Heroes’ Day, which is celebrated on Monday, August 26th.
“Today, we remember the bravery and sacrifices made by our heroes, including prominent figures who led the struggle for independence, and those who remain unnamed and undocumented in history books,” the senator said.
“May this day remind us of the importance of bridging our current generation of young Filipinos to our rich and proud past, and cultivating in them love and service to country, the same values which our national heroes embraced and stood up for,” she added.
Cayetano said she fully supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s call in his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) for Congress to pass a law that shall “invigorate nationalism and patriotism among young Filipinos and further promote their role in nation-building.”
To this end, the senator is pushing for Senate Bill No. 925 or the “Youth Patriotism and Bayanihan Act,” which seeks to establish holistic programs in basic education in lieu of proposals to make the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for students.
The bill introduces a fundamental program and a specialized program, both seeking to develop the values of discipline, patriotism, nationalism, and a strong sense of bayanihan among Grades 1 to 12 students.
The fundamental program for Grades 1 to 12 students shall have the following components: Physical Fitness, Arts and Cultural Heritage, Community Outreach, Basic Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, and Basic Security.
Meanwhile, the specialized program for senior high students shall have advanced and dedicated training to develop skills and knowledge in security, survival, and public service through the following components: Internal Security and Peace and Order, Dedicated Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Advanced Security, and Career Development.
Cayetano recognized that military training is vital, but is not the only means to cultivate patriotism and discipline among students. She said a citizenry well-trained in various disciplines like the sciences, medicine, sports, the arts, business, and technical skills, among others, is the best preparation for any external or internal threats to the country’s security and development.
“The more holistic way to cultivate our youth’s sense of nationalism and patriotism is by training them early on to study and respond to threats to our sustainability, and by being responsible leaders in their respective fields,” she noted.
“This way, we can ensure that future generations of Filipinos could turn out to be ‘heroes’ – nation-builders who will excel in their chosen profession or field, and contribute to our country’s sustainable growth, stability, and security,” she concluded. #