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With a can-do attitude and an unfathomable fighting spirit, millennials are known for pushing for what they want, when they want it, and in whatever way they can do it to answer their whims. However, instilling discipline in the Millennial Age seems to be one of the challenges parents face with a difficulty.

Thus, we opted to ask Congressman Samuel Pagdilao, a retired director-general of the Philippine National Police (and founding member of the highly elite Special Action Force) whose visit to the Manila Bulletin was just as timely as this concern. Pagdilao is the Anti-Crime and Terrorism-Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list representative  and is now running for a seat at the Senate in the May 2016 polls.

Samuel Pagdilao ft

Given years of experience in dealing with the hard-headed public, we’re guessing he’s got a lot to say about the topic.

During a short interview with MB Life at the Manila Bulletin (MB) Integrated Newsroom on Thursday (March 3, 2016), Pagdilao shared his insights on instilling discipline to the younger set.

Here are points to ponder from our 59-year-old “Sir TSiP”:

Discipline does not always mean military discipline

Kapag ang society natin disiplinado, I think everybody follows because it’s their own system. ‘Di pwedeng ‘yung disiplinado lang ay ‘yung military… ‘Di naman natin sinasabi na all of these will be like a military discipline type even for civilians,” explained Pagdilao.

People cringe at the thought of the word discipline being equated to the military ways of strict rules and regulations but discipline does not always mean you have to follow all orders and be set for push-ups if you fail to do what was told.

It’s about being wary and responsible of your actions at all times.

ROTC is the key

If you look at trainings that are available on a nationwide scale, ROTC talaga. This is really the best way to introduce training for our citizens to be able to handle even the basics of defending, fighting back,” the congressman explains.

Adapting to what’s new

Even the curriculum ng ROTC will have to accommodate all these new things, new knowledge, and information. Assuming the K-12 program will be fully implemented, we’ll have to subscribe to that kasi ‘yung mga kabataan na hindi na magkokolehiyo, di ba papasok sila ng trabaho or they’ll just pursue ‘yung pag-aaral to develop their own skills, ‘di na yung academic,” he said, while referring to the new tactics and lessons in defense and in the academic curriculum in the era of Information Technology.

A wrong deed should not pass unnoticed

On this, Pagdilao noted: “Kailangan mawala yung atmosphere of impunity na wala tayong paniwala na kapag nagkasala tayo, eh walang kaparusahan. Kaya nagkakaroon ng climate of impunity because people believe that when they do things wrong, walang mangyayari, walang lesson learned“.

As a former law enforcer and now as a lawmaker, he sees to it that the law should be enforced in the country. As he puts it: “Enforcement of the law without fear or favor should be the order of the day.”

Pangaral, reminders, and lessons learned

Just like in the Bible, Pagdilao has one principle on disciplining his kids: I adhere to the age-old adage: If you will spare the rod, you will spoil the child.

But, according to him, there are other means to let a child feel that when he/she committed a mistake. He reminded us that there should also be a corresponding pangaral from parents to serve as something to remind a child of a lesson and what they have done.

Pag sinimulan mo ng pagkabata, dala-dala nila ‘yan hanggang sa (pagtanda).”


Pagdilao is included in the senatorial lineup for the May elections front-lined by Grace Poe and Francis Escudero.

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