Removal of Filipino subject in college unconstitutional -- senators

November 16, 2018
Vicente Sotto III
Vicente Sotto III

SIX senators are against the plan of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to exclude Filipino and Panitikan as subjects in college.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Thursday explained that scrapping Filipino as a core subject in college is a violation of the Constitution.

Article XIV Sec. 6 of the Constitution, states that “the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.”

Sotto said the lack of importance in the Filipino language can now be seen among the youth who lacks grasp on the native language.

“By removing this as a core subject in college or any other school level, I fear this would deteriorate even further. The Filipino language is part of our identity as a people and as such we should strive to preserve and strangthen this at all times,” Sotto said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said youth must learn by enriching their vocabulary and knowledge on the native tounge.

“If those concerned haven’t noticed, children seldom talk to each other or among themselves in Filipino. If they try to speak in the vernacular, they occasionally struggle finding the right Filipino word so they resort to find the substitute English word,” Lacson said.

Senator Francis Pangilinan said the national language of any nation must be a core course while Senator Koko Pimentel insisted there are still many secrets that the Filipinos can discover with our native languange and it must be retained in college.

Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero pointed out that it is important that curriculum developers in college must find ways to make the Filipino subject more competetive and make sure it will not be a repitition on what is being taught in the elementary and secondary level.

“Magandang pag-igihin at palakasin ang pagtuturo nito sa elementary at high school at pag-isipan mabuti ang curriculum na ipapaloob kung isasabatas ang pagtuturo nito sa kolehiyo. Ito ay upang hindi maging paulit ulit, bagkos ay mapalakas at mapaigting ang pagmamahal natin sa ating wika at panitikan," said Escudero.

For Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, teaching Filipino subject only in elementary and high school is not enough to promote the language to the youth.