New Ched memo retains Filipino units in college – except for literature

Tanggol Wika demands that the agency issue another memo retaining Panitikan subjects.


MANILA — The defenders of Filipino language gained another victory in their assertion to retain Filipino subjects in college, as the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) released a new memorandum ordering universities and colleges to comply with the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) against Ched Memorandum Order No. 20 (CMO 20).

Ched Memorandum Order No. 57 series of 2017 enjoined all higher education institutions (HEIs) to continue implementing Ched Memos mandating three to nine units of Filipino subjects as part of the general education curriculum in college. It was issued and signed on June 16.

But the group Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika) demanded that Ched should issue another memo explicitly retaining the required three to six units of Panitikan (literature), which was not mentioned in the new memo.

“In view of the said TRO of the SC, all are enjoined to take due note of and continue implementing the following provision of CMO No. 4 series of 1997 entitled “Guidelines for Implementation of Ched Memo Order No. 59 series of 1996 “New General Education Curriculum (GEC) in reference to the inclusion of Filipino and Panitikan (literature) as courses until further notice of the High Tribunal,” the signed memo said.

Tanggol Wika also called on Ched to direct all universities and colleges to revive departments of Filipino and Literature which were abolished in compliance with CMO 20.

Under the older Ched memos, students majoring in courses related to Humanities, Social Sciences and Communication are required to take a minimum of nine units of Filipino subjects and six units of Panitikan as part of their general education; while students of other courses are required to take a minimum of six units of Filipino subjects and three units of Panitikan.

Tanggol Wika received a copy of the memo from Ched on June 19, during their dialogue along with ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio. Ched official Nap Imperial faced the group in the absence of Ched chairperson Patricua Licuanan, who was reportedly out of the country.

Read: Removing Filipino as a subject in college: A betrayal in the name of business?

CMO 20, or the Revised General Education Curriculum, is in line with the implementation of K to 12 which began in 2012. The memo abolishes Filipino language, literature, Philippine government and Constitution as mandatory general education subjects in college. CMO 20 justified that these subjects will be taken up under K to 12’s senior high school.

Tanggol Wika had lambasted Ched for releasing this year CMO Nos. 13 to 51 pertaining to policies, standard and guidelines for courses in college. The memos excluded Filipino and Panitikan subjects, which contradicts the Supreme Court order.

Meanwhile, Tinio said Ched officials may be liable for contempt for violating the high court’s TRO. The SC issued the TRO in 2015.

“If this continues, this will earn CHED not just a contempt charge before the high court but also more protests against their anti-Filipino language stand,” Tinio stressed.

Tinio cited the course syllabus for Batsilyer ng Artes sa Filipino (Bachelor of Arts in Filipino) which excludes Filipino and literature units from the enumeration of mandatory subjects.

Tinio said ACT Partylist and Tanggol Wika called on Ched chairperson Patricia Licuanan to amend the policies and guidelines and clearly include the mandatory Filipino and literature subjects.

“We demand not just respect for the Supreme Court’s order. More importantly, we demand respect for our national language, for our constitution which mandates Filipino as the language of instruction,” Tinio said.

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