House panel OKs bill requiring teaching of PH’s World War II history at tertiary level
MANILA, Philippines — A bill that seeks to require the teaching of the country’s comprehensive history of the Second World War has been approved by a House of Representatives panel on Monday.
At the House committee hearing on higher and technical education, two bills — House Bill (HB) No. 933 from Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo and HB No. 4157 from Northern Samar 2nd District Rep. Harris Christopher Ongchuan — were consolidated and approved.
According to Romulo, the bill aims to provide the youth with a glimpse of the Filipino heroes’ roles in World War II, as the current curriculum does not have enough items dedicated to the topic.
“When we talk or sit down with our Veterans Affairs Committee, there are many stories there being told by Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Ernesto Carolina, maraming events during World War II na kung saan ang bida ay Filipino (there were many events during World War II where Filipinos took centerstage),” he said.
“Karamihan po diyan kahit nangyari dito sa Pilipinas, ang main characters ay mga dayuhan,” Romulo, chair of the House committee on basic education, explained.
(Even though many of those events happened in the Philippines, the foreigners were the main characters.)
If Romulo’s version is enacted, at least 50 percent of Philippine History discussions shall be allocated to World War II topics in the Philippine context.
The curriculum would be crafted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
“A comprehensive study of Philippine History during World War II shall be integrated into and shall cover not less than fifty percent of the mandatory Philippine History subject being offered under the general education curriculum in higher education courses of all higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country,” the proposed bill’s Section 2 read.
“The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shall, pursuant to its mandate under Republic Act No. 7722 otherwise known as the ‘Higher Education Act of 1994’, develop in close collaboration with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office – Department of National Defense a program to execute and implement the provisions of this Act,” it added.
If the House committee successfully produces a unified bill, it will be sent to the full House for debate and second and third reading.
This is not the first time that history advocates have called on the government to include Filipino heroes’ exploits in the Second World War. As early as 2016, Filipino-Americans have called for schools — but in California, United States — to adopt a more scrutinized study of the Filipinos’ role during the said war.
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