‘Removal of Filipino, literature subjects in HEIs make CHED officials liable for contempt’

Jun. 20, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The removal of Filipino and literature subjects in colleges and universities will make CHED officials liable for contempt, a militant lawmaker said on Tuesday.

This as Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said that CHED’s move violates a 2015 Supreme Court Temporary Restraining Order.

“The SC via its 2015 TRO stopped CHED from implementing CMO 20, series of 2013, which set a new general education (GE) curriculum minus Filipino and Panitikan. Yet, CHED’s new PSGs still implement CMO 20 and fail to include the mandated 6 to 9 units of Filipino subjects and 3 to 6 units of Panitikan subjects,” Tinio said.

“Clearly, CHED violates the TRO,” he pointed out. “If this continues, this will earn CHED not just a contempt charge before the high court but also more protests against their anti-Filipino language stand.”

“The course syllabus for Batsilyer ng Artes sa Filipino, for example, excludes Filipino and Panitikan units from the enumeration of mandatory subjects. All PSGs also have similar provisions pointing to CMO 20 as basis for its GE,” Tinio added.

ACT’s Tinio with Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (TANGGOL WIKA) initiated a dialogue with CHED to press for the inclusion of of Filipino and Panitikan subjects in higher education.

The issue stemmed when CHED issued Memorandum Orders (CMOs) 13 to 51, series of 2017 pertaining to the policies, standards and guidelines for different courses. Included in each PSG is the curriculum for the course.

Both ACT and Tanggol Wika urged CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan to immediately amend accordingly the PSGs and clearly include the mandatory Filipino and Panitikan subjects.

“We demand not just respect to the Supreme Court’s order. More importantly, we demand respect for our national language, for our constitution which mandates Filipino as the language of instruction, and for the teachers who defend Filipino and pushed CHED to do its duty under these mandates,” Tinio said.

He also urged CHED to monitor and prevent the removal of Filipino and Panitikan subjects, dissolution of the Filipino departments, and dismissal of Filipino teachers, which several colleges and universities already implemented after the issuance of CMO 20.

With regards to the TRO issued by the High Tribunal, CHED Commissioner Prospero De Vera said that CHED has yet to hear the issue because they want to look at all the angles.

“So the Commission has not discussed or taken up the issue yet because this was before our time, before my appointment as Commissioner. So I… We have not discussed it ‘no. We’ll wait for the procedure of the Supreme Court to commence. Anyway, as long as the Supreme Court has not taken out the TRO, then it’s still part of the curriculum,” De Vera said on Tuesday’s press briefing in Malacañang.

De Vera pointed out that it was under the Arroyo administration that CHED decided to take out the six to nine units Filipino in the General Education Curriculum.

“This was in light really of internationalization, the idea that the advantage of Filipinos in the use of English should be given priority by government and also in anticipation eventually of the K to 12 program. The thinking being that Filipino can be downloaded to senior high so you don’t have to take it at the university level. That was the thinking then ‘no,” the CHED commissioner said.

When asked as to how CHED will handle the Filipino departments that were dissolved as a result of the initial move to remove Filipino from the GE curriculum, De Vera said: “(T)hat’s really up to the individual universities to work out ‘no. What is important — because these are internal academic matters that is beyond the control of CHED ‘no.”

“The internal governance of state universities and colleges is exercised by their Board of Regents. So the Board of Regents of each SUC should deal with the problem and for the private schools, it is guided by the policies of the private universities. So we cannot intervene in the internal governance of higher education institutions,” De Vera said. (davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus