Lagman: SC ruling on Filipino, Panitikan ‘unconstitutional and anti-youth’
The Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling downgrading Filipino and Philippine literature (panitikan) as merely elective subjects in college was “unconstitutional and anti-youth,” Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said Tuesday.
The High Court earlier ruled that the two subjects may now be excluded from the core subjects in the tertiary level as it upheld the constitutionality of the K to 12 law.
Lagman cited Article XIV, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution which categorically mandates that the “national language of the Philippines is Filipino.”
He argued that contrary to the ruling of the High Tribunal, the said provision “does not need an implementing statute for its enforcement.”
“There is no alternative to fostering and inculcating nationalism and patriotism other than teaching Filipino and Philippine literature,” Lagman said in a statement. “Language involves muscle memory. You lose it if you don’t use it.”
Lagman also slammed as an “aberration” the optional teaching of Filipino while the teaching of a foreign language like English is compulsory.
“What the Constitution provides for voluntary and optional teaching is Spanish and Arabic, not Filipino,” he added.
Lagman further argued that it was wrong to contend that the required teaching of Filipino and Philippine literature in college is a duplication of what is being taught in elementary and high school, saying the instruction these subjects in college is “more advanced, intense, and incisive.”
The lawmaker also said demoting Filipino and Philippine literature in college as elective subjects is “anti-youth” because “it deprives young people from truly imbibing Philippine history and culture, and practicing nationalism and patriotism.”
Lagman also said enshrining Filipino as the national language is complemented by the following constitutional provisions:
1. Section 17 on State Policies which provides that the “State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress and promote total human liberation and development”; and
2. Section 3 (2) of Article XIV provides that all educational institutions “shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for human rights, and appreciation of the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country x x x”. /muf
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