MANILA - Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday questioned the Department of Education (DepED) over textbooks being used in schools that supposedly "whitewash the atrocities committed during the Martial Law years."
She revealed during the Senate hearing of DepEd's 2019 proposed budget that her office discovered 2 textbooks that didn't completely narrate the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos, which was marred by cases of human rights violations.
A textbook called "Pilipinas: Bansang Papaunlad", which is reportedly being used in Bulacan, narrates the country's history only until 1946.
Meanwhile, the merits of Marcos dictatorship were discussed immensely in the textbook called "MAKABAYAN: Kasaysayang Pilipino," which is reportedly being used in Valenzuela City.
"DepEd must take a more proactive role in fulfilling the mandate of integrating Martial Law atrocities in our curriculum and ensuring that our instructional materials are factual, up-to-date and error-free," Hontiveros said in a statement.
DepEd, on its part, denied the concerned textbooks were issued by the agency.
"These are also not aligned with the K to 12 curriculum, hence the inadequate information on the Marcos dictatorship," it said in a statement.
However, DepEd promised it will take action on the issue.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said new information on textbooks may not be reflected immediately.
"The law says that this has to be written and published by private printers... Hindi kami allowed. And this explains also why in spite of new developments, new information, new perspectives, hindi nare-reflect sa textbooks kaagad," she said.
Despite of it, DepEd will conduct workshops to identify and correct the errors in their learning materials.
"Part of our efforts to make all these corrections is to look at the schools that are still using these kinds of textbooks, which have lost their relevance. It is a duty on our part to check on the schools who are still using these books because we have a lot of new materials already," Briones said.