House bill seeks suicide prevention programs for students 

STUDENTS attend limited face-to-face classes at a school in Manila on May 31. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

A BILL that aims to set up suicide prevention programs for students at all school levels has been filed in the House of Representatives, citing the need to recognize and address mental health concerns among the youth.

House Bill 2895 or the proposed Student Suicide Prevention Act tasks the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to establish their respective programs that will help prevent student suicide incidents.  

“Suicide is not a crime… it is a serious problem that must be addressed,” said the bill’s authors in a statement on Tuesday. “In the Philippines, unfortunately, no concrete steps have been taken to determine the causes of suicide among the Filipino youth.  

The measure cites a study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute that shows suicidal intention rates among young adults aged 15 to 25 doubled in 2021 from 2013.  

Mental health issues among the youth have also been aggravated by mobility restrictions during the two-year pandemic, they said.  

“The government, through the DepEd, CHED and TESDA, should take steps to raise awareness of student suicide as a serious public health program.” 

The bill was filed by Camarines Sur Reps. Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte Jr., Miguel R. Villafuerte, and Tsuyoshi Anthony G. Horibata, and BICOL-SARO Party-list Rep. Nicolas C. Enciso VIII. — Kyanna Angela Bulan

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