MANILA — Sen. Robin Padilla has proposed a law that would mandate the inclusion of Philippine history in the high school curriculum in order to "to guide our youth in shaping the country and its people."
Under Padilla's Senate Bill 451, the subject "Philippine History" will be taught to "inculcate a sense of patriotism" among Filipino students.
The bill seeks to incorporate in the subject the "history, culture and identity of the Bangsamoro and Indigenous People."
Padilla, one of the prominent Muslim celebrities in Christian-majority Philippines, won by a landslide in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the May elections.
"To lead this nation into the future would require an understanding of the country's historical roots and cultural heritage in ideally all levels of formal education," Padilla said in the bill.
He lamented the removal of Philippine History subject from the high school curriculum in 2014 through Department of Education (DepEd) Order 20.
The DepEd earlier this year clarified that Philippine History is still being taught under the basic education curriculum, although to Grade 5 and 6 students only since 2014, following the implementation of the K-12 program.
Prior to the K-12 program, the subject was taught to Grade 6 and 7 students. High school starts at Grade 7.
"It is truly unfortunate for our youth, whom we dub as the hope and future of our nation, to be stripped of the opportunity to wade through the books of our invaluable past," Padilla said.
The bill seeks to enable "critical thinking and discourse" on the effects and relevance of Philippine historical events, persons and movements to the present - and understand the Filipinos' roots grounded on facts and strong historical tradition, patriotism and identity as a nation.