Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippine Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY) Chairman, highly encouraged the various sectors to become vigilant in creating a “safe space” in the use of the internet. This is his message in lieu of the celebration of “International Safer Internet Day for Children” on February 8.
In an interview with Veritas News, the Daet bishop recognized the importance of being able to regulate the internet usage of young people because of the abuses that it can inflict harm to the youth.
“Pangalagaan at tulungan natin ang ating mga kabataan. Marami sa kanila ang nahihirapan ngayon. Subalit sila (the children and youth) ang kinabukasan at ang kasalukuyan,” he said.
“Kailangan ang pagtutulungan upang labanan ang mga panganib at mga banta sa kapakanan ng mga kabataan at ikakapahamak nila– tulad ng online child abuse and child pornography, trafficking, addiction,at iba pa. Sa katunayan, hindi lamang ang mga kabataan ang naapektuhan nito, kundi ang lahat,” he added.
Amidst the threats the internet has surfaced in the modern world, Bishop Alarcon recognizes the state’s efforts that benefit the young people with the acknowledgment of how crucial their role is for the growth of an ever-changing society.
This is in cooperation with the Department of Welfare and Social Development (DSWD) at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) along with the internet service providers and local government units like “Click, Respect, Connect – CRC Next Level: Ligtas na Ugnayan Online,” which aims to celebrate the advocacies of the internet being a “safe space” for young people in the Philippines.
“Nakabatay sa tungkulin ng Estado na pangalagaan at isulong ang kapakanan ng mga kabataan, i.e., ‘The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being.’ (Section 13, Article II, 1987, Philippine Constitution),” he said.
“Tama at kailangan ang pagtutulungan ng mga sangay ng pamahalaan, tulad ng DILG, DSWD at mga lokal na pamahalaan upang sikaping mapangalagaan ang ating mga kabataan,” the bishop added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)