Sunday, September 28, 2014

Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Strong Family Ties Means Strong Nation

The Weekly Kapihan on September 13, 2014 discussed the topic, “Family Week Celebration”. The guests at NVC Carmen Hotel are Atty. Evvie S. Taytayon - Public Attorney’s Office, SPO4 Luzbella Isada - Kalibo PNP, Anna Paloma and Genalyn Nama - both Social Officer I, Bobby Clyde Orbista - Prov’l. Social Welfare Officer, and Erlinda S. Belayro - former SB member Kalibo.
Ms. Belaryo explained that Family Week is embodied in Pres. Procl No. 60 signed by former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos in 1992. The first theme was “The Filipino Family As Resilient and Caring.” While serving as SB member of Kalibo, Belayro was instrumental in the annual search of “Huwarang Pamily” that won provincial recognition for Mr. and Mrs. Roman A. de la Cruz and Mr. and Mrs. Mansueto Palmani.

Presently, the search is on going among the 16 barangays of Kalibo for model families with the following criteria: a) both spouses are living and healthy, b) bonafide residents of barangay, c) never separated in their married life, d) at least 3 children are successful professionals and e) active in civic projects. The winners will be announced during the Foundation Day Celebration of Kalibo on November 3.

Atty. Taytayon cited the Family Code that acknowledges the family as the smallest basic unit of society. The Code strengthens the moral, social and physical bond between husband and wife and their paternal obligation to their children. This is best summed up as responsibility and commitment.
Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente noted that there is increased incidents of marriages hitting the rocks. One’s fidelity and loyalty to your wife or husband must never be assailed since marital vows are meant to be executed for life.

Aklan has a “Daeangpan it mga Kababayen-an” that provides emotional and physical supports to women victims of domestic violence. Ms. Paloma reported that in August 2014, 30 women were given assistance after a police operation busted videoke operators in Boracay for human trafficking. The facility located inside DRSTMH grounds is open 24/7 to battered women and children.

Ms. Nama said that DSWD provides formal trainings and practical skills to empower women. Family counseling is focused on avoiding conflicts that result to repeated physical and emotional abuses. Unlike in most countries of the world, the Philippines does not recognize divorce but legal separation and annulment of marriage.

On the other hand, Mr. Orbista tackles marital woes with the acronym ERPOT or Empowerment and Re-arfirmation of Paternal Abilities. This program has been in effect since 1995 and its success is anchored on shared responsibility, paternal guidance and being gender sensitive. The common cause of family trouble is abdicating one’s responsibility as breadwinner (husband) and wife as nurturer of children. Role of husband and wife could be reversed without losing one’s macho image like doing laundry or taking care of baby. Actually, this is a reality for most Filipino homes since 51 percent of families have one of the parents as Overseas Filipino Workers who live outside their homes, Mr. Orbista added.

SPO4 Isada explained that cases of violence against women and children are handled by the Women’s Desk. It is observed that majority of cases against women occurs when they are plain housewives, bereft of relatives and the husband is the breadwinner. At the back of his mind, he considers his wife second class citizen or inutile. Little does he know that from labor statistics, the women’s work as mother, homemaker and wife is more than equal to or even higher than her husband’s paycheck.

Successful marriages and families are planned and maintained on principle of faith, forgiveness and love. Sex before marriage can be gratification of self but there is no commitment and responsibility. It is only when sex is done in the realm of marriage that God’s commandment to procreation is fulfilled.

Paul’s admonition is for wives to submit to their own husbands as is fitting the Lord. Husbands love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children obey your parents in all things for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Col. 3:18-20.

Unless we heed the moral authority, we will be mired in more heartache. Recently, the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management in Western Visayas reported that 3,747 cases of women violence occurred in the first half of this year. Aklan has 47 percent illegitimate births recorded in 2012 according to Philippine Statistics Authority. In the Philippines, every hour, 24 babies are delivered by teenage mothers. The 2014 Young Adult Fertility and sexuality study reveal that 14 percent of the Filipino girls aged 15 – 19 are pregnant for the first time or more than twice the rate recorded in 2012. Among 6 major Asean economies, the Philippines has the highest teenage pregnancies.

Atty. Allen S. Quimpo knows of sexual cases of teenage pregnancies which are schooling. They discontinued their studies. He said this problem is caused by parental neglect and further exacerbated by the usual practice of forcing youngsters to marry when they are not yet prepared.
The Juvenile Justice Law, RA 9344 as amended by RA 10630 exempts youth, 15-18 years of age from criminal liability unless he or she acted in discernment upon committing a crime needs to be replaced. The reason is that minors are widely used by criminal syndicates in robberies, burglaries, and drugs because they are aware of statutory limits concerning minors in conflict with the law.

Fortunately, the Provincial government has an Aklan Youth Center nearing completion where offenders could be rehabilitated and given skills training. Profile shows that two thirds of total come from broken homes or marginalized groups. It is best that civic societies give a helping hand in providing financial, educational and spiritual guidance. They are like lost gems that could be polished to shine as diamonds.

The objective of the State must be to stabilize the family by inculcating love and commitment among married couples. By their noble examples, children can learn how to trust and obey as they move on to adulthood. Indeed, youngsters need realistic role models, not the deceptive world of make believed that leads to destruction.   /MP

No comments: