CEBUANOS URGED NOT TO BAN FILIPINO IN SCHOOLS
Malacanang, Oct. 21, 1998 - President Joseph Estrada is urging the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cebu (Cebu provincial board) to repeal two ordinances which ban the use of Filipino as the medium of instruction in schools in the province. The anti-Filipino ordinances were passed in 1995 during the administration of then Cebu Gov. Emilio Osmena.
"While the President recognizes the authority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to enact measures within its competence, he sincerely believes that `the ordinances are disadvantageous to Cebuano students and not in consonance with our national effort to promote the national language and forge unity among our people,' " Presidential Spokesperson Jerry Barican said in his regular press briefing at Malacañang.
Estrada had earlier sent a letter-memorandum to the Cebu provincial board through its presiding officer, Cebu Vice-Governor Fernando Celeste, pointing out that Ordinances No. 89-8 and 95-11 ran counter to the purpose and spirit of the 1987 Policy on Bilingual Education.
Ordinance No. 89-8 bans the use of Filipino as a medium of instruction in specific subjects in Cebu schools, while Ordinance No. 95-11 required the use of English as the sole language of instruction, except in the Filipino subject. The last ordinance also carries penalties for violators.
"In line with the observance of the Centennial of the Philippine Independence, may I respectfully enjoin members of the Sangguniang to take steps towards the repeal of the ordinances," the President said in his memorandum to the Cebu board.
The two ordinances were brought to the President's attention by Secretary Andrew Gonzales of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Last August, the President had called on all public officials and employees to start using Filipino in their official discussions and negotiations so that the government can gain a head start in propagating the constitutionally mandated national language.
He had also urged the DECS and the CHED to start using Filipino as the mode of teaching in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and all other public schools.
The President spearheaded the pro-Filipino campaign at the opening of the celebration of the Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa (National Language Month) at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines ((PUP) in Manila last August 4. He had noted in his speech that Filipinos should take pride in speaking in their national language and in promoting its widespread use.
Estrada stressed that under his administration the use of the national language, as stated under Executive Order No. 335 and mandated by the Constitution, will be strictly followed.
The President had set the example by delivering his inaugural address and his State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA), his first major policy speech, mostly in Filipino. His later speeches usually contain portions spoken in the national language. Mr. Estrada also finds the opportunity to speak Filipino in Cabinet meetings and his other official engagements.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
© Copyright, 1998 by PHILIPPINE
HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved
Back to the PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE HomePage