The House of Representatives approved a bill seeking to promote the country’s indigenous writing systems by including these in relevant subjects of basic and higher education such as elective or specialized courses in higher education studying the same, among others.
With an overwhelming 251 votes, the chamber on Monday approved on final reading House Bill (HB) 6069 or the Philippine Indigenous and Traditional Writing Systems Act to “generate greater awareness of indigenous and traditional scripts of the Philippines and engender wider appreciation of their significance and beauty… as part of our cultural treasures.”
“…While these writing systems are being revived again, it is becoming vulnerable and in danger of misrepresentation and alteration due to technological advancements. Proper and official recognized standardization, publication, and documentation must be established in order for the writing systems to sustain its intrinsic characteristics,” Tingog Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude Acidre, two of the principal authors of the bill, said.
Speaker Martin G. Romualdez was among the co-authors of the bill.
“It is the declared policy of the State to foster the preservation, enrichment, and dynamic evolution of a Filipino national culture based on the principle of unity in diversity in a climate of free artistic and intellectual expression. To this end, the State shall promote, protect, preserve, and conserve the Philippine indigenous and traditional writing systems as a means to inculcate patriotism and social consciousness among the citizenry,” HB 6069’s declaration of policy read.
Aside from the inclusion of the indigenous writing systems in subjects, the bill also mandates the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and local governments (LGUs) to conduct activities that promote awareness of the writing systems, particularly during Buwan ng Wika and similar occasions and events.
The conduct of seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia, and other relevant activities on writing systems indigenous to a particular region was also provided under the bill.
The measure also requires government agencies to ensure record-keeping of relevant documents and preservation of oral evidence on the writing systems.
It specifically mandates the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to be the lead agency in promulgating policy guidelines on the promotion of the writing systems.