Fight for Filipino in college may reach Supreme Court

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jun 15 2014 03:24 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2014 11:24 PM

Filipino teachers will not go unemployed – Palace

Fight for Filipino in college may reach Supreme Court 1
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) chairman and National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario

MANILA -- The fight to retain Filipino in classes in college and universities may reach the Supreme Court, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) chairman and National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario said on Sunday.

“there is a possibility we may reach that point. For now, we are discussing matters with college and university officials. Some are just too hard-headed,” Almario said in Filipino in an interview with radio dzMM.

Almario was reacting to a Commission on Higher Education (CHED) memorandum that effectively removes Filipino as a form of teaching in the general education curriculum.

He explained that under CHED Memorandum No. 20, which was issued as early as last year, old general education subjects taught in both English and Filipino have been removed. The new subjects introduced, however, make the syllabus available only in English.

This is a result of the K-12 curriculum as, according to CHED, the old college-level general education subjects, which include Filipino, will be transferred to the K-12 curriculum.

“In effect, it’s a violation of the essence of the Constitution. It provides there that we should not just declare Filipino as the national language, we should also ensure that we should spread its use,” Almario said.

The writer also cited the need for the “intellectualization of the language,” saying Filipino should not just be used in everyday language, but also in research and intellectual discussions.

In Malacanang, meanwhile, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. assured Filipino teachers who may be affected by the changes will not go unemployed.

“The welfare of the teachers are important. We will monitor the developments. We will be doing the necessary steps so that they will not go unemployed,” Coloma said.

Almario, on the other hand, is awaiting replies from CHED and Congress as to KWF suggestions that other subjects in college be taught in Filipino.

“We formally submitted the letters two weeks ago. There is no reply yet,” he said, citing the need for “retooling and reeducation among Filipino teachers.”

According to him, the KWF has already created four Filipino syllabi out of the eight subjects that will be taught in the new general education curriculum.