BUHAY Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Wednesday urged his colleagues in the House of Representatives to immediately act on the restoration of culture and sports into the Department of Education (DepEd), stressing the youth nowadays are busy with social media.
Atienza said his proposal is the best way to prevent the country’s youth from getting into drugs.
“I urge my fellow lawmakers to act now on restoring culture and sports into the DepEd. We believe this is the best way to prevent our youth from getting into shabu and other illegal drugs.
The youth nowadays are more interested in video games and social media than what is happening around them—they go straight to internet cafes and billiard halls to hang out with their friends and gangmates. Why? Because there are no cultural activities and sports training that would keep them busy and provide them with more productive use of their time,” said Atienza.
Atienza refiled House Bill (HB) 1108 or an Act Strengthening the Cultural and Sports training of the youth by reorganizing the Department of Education into the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS).
It was in 2001 when Republic Act (RA) 9155 was passed amending the organizational structure of the DECS to DepEd, doing away with culture and sports.
Atienza also emphasized this during his interpellation of San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida P. Robes, who delivered a privilege speech citing the alarming number of suicide cases among young Filipinos.
“We commend Congresswoman Robes for tackling this very troubling reality of rising suicide cases and mental illness among young Filipinos today. We are now seeing the effects of a generation without activities that would put to better use their idle time. This is why restoring culture and sports is doubly necessary and needs to be acted upon now,” Atienza stressed.
Robes expressed alarm over the rising rate of suicide among young Filipinos saying majority of Filipinos taking their own lives are between 15 to 29 years old.
In her privilege speech,..
ATIENZA Robes said a World Health Organization report in 2017 recorded that the suicide rate in the Philippines is about eight individuals per 100,000. Of the eight, six were males and 2 were females.
What is alarming, Robes pointed out, is that majority of those taking their own lives are young Filipinos aged 15 to 29 years.
“I am alarmed of this propensity of the young Filipinos to take their own lives,” she said.
Worldwide, she stated, suicide takes an average of 3,000 people every day or one suicide case every 40 seconds. Among the youth aged 15 to 29, suicide is the second highest cause of death.
Robes attributed the rising case of suicide to depression as Filipinos are considered among the most depressed people in Southeast Asia affecting 3.3 million people.
“I am alarmed that depression gets to become a ‘common cold’ in this country, affecting some 3.3 million Filipinos. It is recognized by our own Department of Health as a ‘serious health condition’, and the weight of ‘haplessness”, ‘hopelessness’ and ‘helplessness’ — the three dreaded ‘H’ symptoms of depression - gravitate towards what now are the new high-risk group: the young population,” she said.
Robes pointed to social media, changing lifestyle and lack of family and community support as some of the fuels of the rising depression among the youth.