/ 7 March 2024

QUEZON 2nd District Rep. David ‘Jay-Jay’ Suarez allayed fears and concerns about a liberalized educational system leading to decline in nationalism and patriotism saying these are unfounded.

Suarez said the status quo, which disallows Filipinos from accessing better education, deprives the entire nation of the chance for better lives, prosperity and gainful employment.

Department of Education Undersecretary Omar Alexander Romero, meanwhile, admitted a gap exists in basic education and that the country is behind its other ASEAN neighbors.

Romero nonetheless aired DepEd’s concern that the provision ‘control and administration’ will be removed from the Philippines once the proposed education reform is approved.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Reform and Rectification for Economic Competitiveness and Transformation or the CoRRECT Movement co-founder Orion Perez Dumdum said there is no basis at all on the issue of nationalism and patriotism once the country’s education system is liberalized.

Dumdum countered that historically, people naturally become more patriotic the moment their economy actually becomes a better performing one. He cited Japan as an example when they became a powerful country in terms of its economy and its defense capabilities.

“I believe that if we focus on becoming a successful country economically and in many other things — technologically, in terms of education — we will naturally become very patriotic and nationalistic,” Dumdum said.

Ateneo De Manila University Law School professor Atty. Anthony Abad also referenced a study by John Naisbitt, which found that countries which get more integrated into the global economy tend to exhibit increased patriotism.

This patriotism extends to regions, where a growing sense of pride in cultural identity, language, history, and tradition was observed.

University of Asia and the Pacific Assistant Professor Dr. Robin Michael Garcia noted how Dr. Jose Rizal and other Filipinos enhanced their sense of nationalism after studying abroad.

According to Garcia, strengthening history and Filipino identity can be pursued simultaneously when the country starts liberalizing the education sector.

Suarez remarked the most anti-nationalistic and unpatriotic viewpoint is to deny the Filipino people the opportunity to improve their circumstances.

“And if you truly love the Philippines and the Filipinos, let the Filipinos blossom in every opportunity available in the world regardless of boundaries and borders,” Suarez concluded.