MANILA, August 24, 2014—Christian advocacy group Filipinos for Life condemned the recent move of the Department of Education (DepEd) to strike out the phrase “God-loving” from its vision statement.
Filipinos for Life spokesperson Dr. Ricardo Boncan aired the group’s dissatisfaction over what it believes is a rash decision on DepEd’s part that had been influenced by some members of the non-religious sector.
“The non-religious argue that belief in God is harmful and therefore violates the Constitution,” he said.
Boncan explained that belief in God harms nobody, stressing that the Constitution only states it cannot favor any religion.
“Since when has belief in God been harmful? They insist that it goes against the Constitution, but nowhere does it express preference to a particular religion,” he pointed out.
Boncan reminded DepEd that giving importance to and loving God is enshrined in the preamble, the opening lines of the Constitution.
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro reasoned the “God-loving” phrase was removed from the department’s vision to be fair to Filipinos who may subscribe to other beliefs and principles.
DepEd’s new vision statement reads:
“We dream of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose values and competencies enable them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the nation.”
It old vision statement was as follows:
“By 2030, DepEd is globally recognized for good governance and for developing functionally-literate [sic] and God-loving Filipinos.
DepEd said its Vision, Mission and Core Values statement “is one document and should be read in its entirety to grasp the full meaning.”
It added, “It is a living document that is meant to reinvigorate our Agency and society as a whole. It is meant to permeate and to affect the way we behave and how we find solutions to complex issues. It is meant to be part of public discourse and personal transformation. It is not static and not intended for mere posting on walls and tables.”
Luistro is a De La Salle brother of the Christian Schools (F.S.C.), a Roman Catholic religious congregation dedicated to education.
Filipinos for Life is working on a position paper demanding an explanation from the education department. (Raymond A. Sebastián)