The House Commitee on Basic Education and Culture has approved a bill seeking to declare Baybayin, a pre-Hispanic writing system used in the Philippines, as the country's national writing system.
House Bill 1022 or the proposed "National Writing System Act" aims to declare Baybayin as the Philippines’ national writing system, thus promoting greater awareness on the plight of Baybayin, as well as fostering wider appreciation for it.
The bill received the support of the Department of Education (DepEd), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the advocacy group Baybayin, Buhayin.
Once passed into law, HB 1022 shall require all manufacturers of locally produced processed food products to inscribe Baybayin scripts and their translation on the containers of labels.
All local government units (LGUs) will also be mandated to include the appropriate Baybayin in their signage for street names, public facilities, public buildings, and other necessary signage for other public service establishments like hospitals, fire and police stations, community centers and government halls.
Newspaper and magazine publishers, likewise, will be required to include a Baybayin translation of their name in Baybayin.
Bataoil said that this shall instil awareness of Baybayin as the national writing system and to conduct staff trainings for the proper handling of these documents.
The NCCA is tasked to protect, preserve, and conserve Baybayin as a National Cultural Treasure.
“The importance of writing in general and of the alphabet in particular for the preservation and progress of civilization is incalculable,” Bataoil said.