/ 9 May 2021

MANILA Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. filed a measure defining parental rights and authority over minor and unemancipated children.

In pushing for House Bill 8177 or the proposed Parental Rights Act, Abante stressed the rearing of the youth is the primary duty and responsibility of parents and the authority of the government complements the same.

“We must realize that God gave parents, not the State of government, the primary duty and responsibility to rear their children,” Abante said in his explanatory note.

The measure seeks to emphasize in unequivocal terms, and give meaning to, the primary duty and responsibility of parents in the rearing of the youth in general and their children in particular, and the corresponding obligation of children to submit to and obey their parents.

“It is the parents who have the power and the primary authority to set the direction of their children and the State complements parental authority or acts in supporting role with the aim and purpose of protecting the rights of a minor when he is placed under unfavorable situation by reason of his age or incapacity,” he added.

The bill states the primary duty and responsibility of parents shall include the right and authority to teach, train, provide, nurture, love, control, and discipline their children, and to decide on the education that their minor or unemancipated children should pursue, as well as the school or institution of learning where they should pursue their education.

The measure also mandates children who are minors and living with their parents to obey and submit to their parents in the exercise of their right, duty, and responsibility.

At the same time, it states the freedom of religion and the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession, beliefs and worship, of parents in connection with the rearing of their children shall be recognized, respected, upheld and shall not be abridged.