MABALACAT CITY — It’s news suitably Lenten.
Thousands of youths nationwide will probably not be allowed to graduate this ending school year for lack a new requirement from the Department of Education (DepEd): a birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Punto learned about this new requirement from heads of public schools in this city, where parents have been warned about the fate of their children come graduation day unless they comply with the national government requirement for a PSA-issued birth certificate.
They said the central office of the DepEd has issued the requirement, although they could not say whether it is also being enforced in public schools. In a statement, the consumer group Pelco2- Nay decried the new requirement as “exploitative and ignorant.”
“As if the impact of the recent TRAIN law is not enough, the poorest of the poor who dream of uplift from poverty through the education of their children are now besieged by a requirement that may sound simple to some, but daunting to many, particularly indigenous peoples in far-flung areas,” the group said.
“It is possible that this snag in the education of their children could dampen their hope altogether and create a huge pool of unschooled, unemployed Filipinos. Just that piece of dumb requirement destroying lives,” it added.
The consumer group also said the requirement “smacks of apparent government ignorance of the fact that many Filipinos, especially in rural areas, resort to ‘hilot’ or ‘comadrona’ in giving birth to escape crucifying medical costs or for lack of doctors in their areas.”
Pelco2-Nay also noted the “asininity of the current policy of PSA birth certificates that expire every six months, as if birthdays are criminals always under suspicion of fleeing the coop and transforming into some monstrosity.”
“It’s one insensitive requirement on top a stupid one that the government is now adopting for us all,” the group said.