Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has maintained his silence on his reported donation of $2 million (P113.4 million) to Harvard University for its first-ever Filipino language course.
“In light of recent speculations regarding my alleged donation to Harvard University, I choose to respect the institution’s gift policy,” he said in a statement.
“Harvard has already communicated that they ‘do not discuss the terms or specifics of individual gifts,’ and I stand by that principle,” the Speaker added.
“More importantly, I’d like to redirect our attention to the significant milestone achieved—the introduction of the Filipino language course at Harvard,” the Leyte lawmaker said.
“This is a remarkable acknowledgment of our culture and heritage on a global platform,” he added.
Romualdez noted that as mentioned by Mr. Jose Marco C. Antonio II, co-president of the Harvard Undergraduate Philippine Forum, “our focus should be on celebrating this achievement.”
“I firmly believe in promoting and preserving our Filipino identity, and this step by Harvard is a testament to that effort,” he stressed.
“Let’s embrace this moment of pride and unity for our country and our language.”
Jonathan Palumbo, a Harvard spokesperson, in an email reply to the Harvard Crimson, said: “Harvard is excited to offer our students the opportunity to study Filipino as part of our comprehensive offerings in East Asian studies.”
“As a matter of practice, Harvard does not discuss the terms or specifics of individual gifts, and in line with Harvard’s gift policy, donors have no role in the establishment of the courses that are offered,” he added.
Citing a reliable source, the university’s student publication, The Harvard Crimson, said Romualdez committed $2 million to fund the Filipino language instructor’s post.
“Funding for the preceptor position wasn’t guaranteed to last longer than three years — until Romualdez’s pledge on,” the Crimson’s Sept. 14 published report read.