DUMAGUETE CITY – Family life ministries in Negros Oriental have acknowledged the importance of modern technology during this challenging time of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
As resource speakers during a "Kapihan sa PIA" forum here on Wednesday in line with the government’s 29th National Family Week celebration, leaders of faith-based groups agreed that digital technology has helped families meet their individual and communal needs.
George Gilvero, the chairperson of the Dumaguete City Family Life Council, noted that communication plays an important role in society with people connecting easily with each other through technology despite their distance.
He highlighted the importance of modern technology’s role in strengthening the family, which is “the foundation of the nation”.
“So it is the policy of the government to fortify solidarity in the family and actively work for its total development,” he said.
Families no longer feel lonely even though they are missing their loved ones in other countries as they can contact them in real-time through various technological advancements, Gilvero said.
New technology also helps families cope with the pandemic, providing access to education for students, work-from-home arrangements for workers, virtual conferences and meetings in real-time, masses and similar church activities, and even food delivery services, he said.
Gilvero, however, advised parents to guide their children on the proper use of gadgets, considering the many negative influences and false information circulating online.
For his part, Dr. Vicente Jurlano, Ph. D., representing the Couples for Christ (CFC) here, said despite quarantine restrictions and limitations due to the pandemic, they managed to continue their regular prayer meetings through various virtual platforms.
“It is important that these activities continue to have sustained communication between members and the leadership,” he said while admitting that not all have access to technology as some people reside in remote areas.
Jurlano specifically mentioned one event online where Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Filipino prelate appointed by Pope Francis as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples in the Vatican, officiated mass in Rome, Italy for them.
Without advanced technology, that would have been impossible, he said.
For his part, Pastor Francisco Abella of the Pentecostal Church said they are also thankful for new technology because it enables their members to connect with others from other parts of the world and have opportunities for virtual sharing during the pandemic.
A healthy community and a healthy church come from healthy families, he noted.
The Pentecostal Church, he said, managed to hold weekly apostolic fellowship of fathers as providers for the family, while other activities were also for the mothers who are the homemakers, he said.
“These are all made possible with modern technology,” the pastor said.
This year’s National Family Week celebration carries the theme “Pamilya at Teknolohiya: Magkabalikat na Mapagtagumpayan ang Hamon ng Pandemya”.
On Monday, Malacañang suspended work in government offices at 3:30 p.m. to allow workers to spend time with their families and celebrate “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day”. (PNA)