By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — The Senate has passed on third and final reading a bill that would help parents in providing their children quality care during critical stages of development.
Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2399 got the unanimous approval of 21 senators on Monday, May 23. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality.
The measure calls for the establishment and implementation of the “Parent Effectiveness Service (PES) Program”, which seeks to strengthen parental involvement in child development and learning by expanding their knowledge and skills on parenting. It would cover fathers and mothers, as well as parent substitutes.
Under the bill, the PES program shall be implemented in every city and municipality, with modules to be developed and produced by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other concerned agencies.
The modules shall be consistent with existing laws and cover parental roles, needs, and responsibilities, challenges of parenting, as well as child development, child abuse prevention, health, and nutrition, among others.
Funds for the implementation of the PES program shall be sourced from the appropriations of the said government agencies in its first year, and thereafter, be included in the annual General Appropriations Act for its continuous rollout.
Sen. Win Gatchalian, the chairperson of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture and co-sponsor of the bill, said he hopes that parents and guardians would be empowered through the program, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic which exposed learners to problems of distance learning, psychosocial issues, and increased risks of violence and abuse. (ai/mtvn)