House endorses bill to revive PH traditional writing systems

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The House of Representatives has supported for plenary passage of a bill promoting, maintaining, and conserving the country’s indigenous and traditional writing systems.

The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, led by Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, adopted subject to style House Bill 10469, or the “Philippine Indigenous and Traditional Writing Systems Act,” at an online hearing Thursday.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Manila Rep. John Marvin Nieto are the primary authors of the bill.

The bill would mandate the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to integrate writing systems in relevant areas of basic and higher education curricula, as well as to develop a higher education elective or specialized course.

“By having Baybayin as an elective in college and a new subject in elementary and high school, we could deepen their love for their own country and language, as well as the patriotism and nationalism of our youth,” Nieto said in a Filipino statement.

A strong national identity, according to Nieto, is a “real mark of a nation” that has created a relationship to its heritage, culture, and history.

He observed that, in the Philippine context, many Filipinos appear to have forgotten and lost the values and beliefs that comprise their true national identity, which he attributes to the “possible aftermath of our colonial experience, the implications of capitalism and industrialization, and the advancement of information technology.”

“It is time for our country to revisit our past through one of its cultural remnants, our traditional or indigenous writing systems, including the pre-colonial writing system called Baybayin,” he said.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts would be the policymaking body in charge of promoting Philippine Indigenous and Traditional Writing Systems.

The bill also intends to promote and conserve indigenous and traditional writing systems by developing and funding activities that raise awareness of these writing systems, notably at Buwan ng Wika and other comparable occasions and events.

Other steps to promote and maintain these writing systems might include holding seminars, conferences, conventions, and symposia, as well as keeping good records of essential documents and preserving oral evidence on these writing systems.


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