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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 1, 2016

Why We Support The Full Implementation Of The RH Bill After Watching 'Hinog Sa Pilit' Docu On 'Reel Time'

GMA NEWS TV’s recent docu, “Hinog sa Pilit”, on “Reel Time” is a real eye-opener. The title refers to young people who are still babies but already breeding their own babies. It showed some teens who become parents at a young age, like Beverly who became a mom at 14 and is preggers again at 15 when her common law husband, Noli, 18, is jobless. Another teen, Jeane, 15, is also pregnant and the dad, Kyle, 16, is also jobless. No wonder the United Nations studies on such matters say we’re number 1 in Asia when it comes to teen pregnancies. And we don’t think that’s a compliment!

When my late wife Vicky and I were doing outreach programs for the Marriage Preparation Foundation, that conducts the monthly Discovery Weekend retreat-seminar for engaged couples, we realized that those who consciously want to start right in their marriage are mostly yuppies who have finished college and have established careers. They tend to marry late, usually in their early 30s.
But the uneducated young people living in depressed areas and slum communities don’t think twice about cohabiting and fornicating as soon as they are able to do so. They live in, bear children, and as expected, quickly get tired and disappointed with each other, and then move on to have kids with other partners. Meantime, the children they’ve given birth to end up as neglected street children who become problems of society.

When we go to slum communities like Payatas, big families of up to 6 or 8 children all live crowded together in small shanties. The parents don’t think twice about begetting as many kids as they can, without considering at all if they can feed or give education to all their offspring. Many of the kids are out of school and work as scavengers at an early age. In contrast, college graduates who start their own families are very cautious in having too many kids.

We’ve also conducted free outreach seminars on love and family relationships in public high schools and we were shocked because the teeners from poor communities obviously don’t have authority figures they can talk to about their most private questions about love and sex. No wonder they get pregnant early. Their main concern are their parents who have no time for them for deeper interpersonal relationships.

A common complaint is that their fathers drink and their parents quarrel a lot. That’s why we believe a separate subject about family relationships should be given in school. And that’s why we totally approve of the full implementation of the RH Bill about responsible parenting. The future of our nation lies in strong families that rear good upright citizens. Right now, we see so many broken dysfunctional families where the marginalized children grow up alienated and with plenty of hang ups.