1.24.2014

STATEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS OF THE ILOKANO LANGUAGE ON THE ILOKANO ORTHOGRAPHY ISSUE

We applaud the decisive move of the present government to include Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) as a main component of the new K-12 Law (RA 10533). Such education reform initiative recognizes the learner’s language and knowledge system as effective starting points for further learning. We also affirm how RA 10533 and other existing policies, especially those that address the educational needs of marginalized learners, value contextualized and culturally-responsive materials developed through a dialogical process among local stakeholders. This upholds not only our democratic values but also research-based and additive MTBMLE practices all over the world. 

As writers, educators, scholars and advocates of the Ilokano language we see that MTBMLE gives us opportunities to help provide a literate community for our own children. We have more than a hundred years worth of Ilocania materials written by notable Ilokanos like Isabelo de los Reyes and the tradition has continued and has been sustained even in places where the Ilokano people have immigrated. We have formed writers guilds and organized forums, conferences and workshops to intellectualize Ilokano and other languages in Ilocandia. We have working existing traditions in orthography, stylized writing, and a vibrant literary tradition that came about through experimentation, dialogue and debates among our members. We want to transmit the same love and respect for the Ilokano language, including our discursive processes and bodies of knowledge to our children. We have this mind unconditionally: that our Ilokano language is the residence of our four Ilokano souls, and thus, this, by all means, ought to remain with us as this contributes to our sense of being and becoming. 


We are thankful that some of us were given the chance to partake in the crafting of the policy and programs of MTBMLE. As a result, dictionaries, grammar book teachers guides, storybooks have been developed. 


And so we were taken by surprise that all of a sudden we received a copy of the “Ispeling ng mga Salitang Ilokano Alinsunod sa Ortograpiyang Pambansa” written by Joel Bagain Lopez. Such spelling guide which will be used by our children, and was said to be implemented in Ilocos Norte, deviates from our existing traditions in language development. 


We likewise ask the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino to make public the process involved in coming up with the KWF-endorsed Ilokano Orthography. Many of us are not aware of this consultation, who conducted it, and who participated in it. Many of us have questions on the usefulness of this KWF-endorsed Ilokano Orthography in the development of a more intellectualized Ilokano discourse as required in key areas of our educational agenda such as sciences, technology, humanities, engineering, and mathematics. 

We wish to quote here certain passages of the Lopez “Ispeling” to prove our point: 

1. “Ti agdama nga (sic) Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino iti panangidaulo ni Dr Virgilio S. Almario ket suportaran na (sic) daytoy a wagas ti pannakaisurat ti pronoun ken pronominal adjective.” (page 2) 

2. “Pinapatunayan ng KWF na ang mga nilalaman ng akdang ito ay alinsunod sa Ortograpiyang Pambansa.” (page 6) 

What authority does one or two people from the KWF have over the issue about how the Ilokano pronoun and the pronomial adjective, among others, are to be written? Why is there a need for Lopez to hide behind the approval of the KWF chair and the KWF Ilokano Commissioner? 


There is claim that such spelling guide is keeping with the KWF’s idea of “ortograpiyang pambansang (OP).” The idea of making all Philippine languages conform to the orthography of one dominant language is an outdated practice, reminiscent of language planning done by fascist governments in the past. Research shows and as recommended by UNESCO, that for orthography to be owned and used widely, it should be crafted jointly through a participatory process among its speakers and stakeholders. In some instances they are guided by an expert but he/she must be a legitimate linguist and knowledgeable of the language. 


We are concerned that apart from the mistakes of the Lopez proposal, the author of the 8-page booklet reworks an existing working orthography and argues that what he does is in keeping with the OP so that instead of looking into the merit of the existing working Ilokano orthography, he hides behind the idea of a misguided top-down language planning. 


What Lopez lacks is a fuller understanding of participatory orthography development, history of the Ilokano language, and how that history has provided a variety of contexts in its development. 

More so, in the drawing up of ‘a working orthography’ of a language, the implementing guidelines of the MTB-MLE is clear on the role of ‘stakeholder participation,’ a requirement that we think has been violated in the KWF-endorsed Ilokano orthography and the Lopez spelling proposal. IRR 10.5 states: “To achieve an enhanced and responsive basic education curriculum, the DepEd shall undertake consultations with other national government agencies and other stakeholders including, but not limited to, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), private and public schools associations, national student organizations, national teacher organizations, parents-teachers associations, chambers of commerce, and other industry associations, on matters affecting the concerned stakeholders.” 

The signatories of this Statement are all stakeholders of the Ilokano language. We wish to participate in all aspects of this MTB-MLE and not to be used as pawns at the service of some narrow views or agenda. 

The Joint National and International Committee for the Protection of the Ilokano Language, 25 January 2014
Individual Stakeholders: Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, Alegria Visaya, Edna C. Nagtalon, Natividad Lorenzo, Ferdinand N. Cortez, Lorenzo Garcia Tabin Sr., Sinamar Robianes Tabin, Eduardo Arellano Padaoan, Felix R. Udasco, Franklin Macugay, Bonifacio Ramos, Elmer Agcaoili Palacio, Herdy La Yumul, Eugene Carmelo Cabanilla-Pedro, Roy Vadil Aragon, Pearl Fontilla, Errol Abrew, Jordan Ang Oay, Melchor Espeleta Orpilla, Ryan Pesigan Reyes, Carmencita Tomas Macatangay, Wilma Manzano, Mario Singson, Ajarn Wu Hsih, Mark Gil Ramolete, Neyzielle Cadiz, Ronan Paul Dayot y Bulahan, Gloria Tuzon, Josephine Lopez Agcaoili, Letecia Florendo, Orlando Rojas Agcaoili, Jayzl Villafania Nebrê, Jose Gonzalez, Ausbert Felicitas, Rex Alejandro, Terry Tugade, Joven Ramirez, Raymund Liongson, Peter Julian, Ridel Tabian Cabulisan, Mario Tejada, Dennis Mendoza, Regie Tagavilla, Cristino Inay, Vilmer V. Viloria, Freddie Padua Masuli, Jan Rich, Eufe Madariaga, Santíago Víllafanía, Ched Estigoy-Arzadon 

Organizational Stakeholders: Nakem Conferences Philippines, Nakem Conferences International, Guild of Ilokano Writers Philippines, Guild of Ilokano Writers America, Guild of Ilokano Writers Global, Timpuyog ken Saranay Dagiti Ilokano, Chavacano Ethnolinguistic Group, and Timpuyog Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano-Hawaii

10.31.2013

4th International Conference on Language and Education (Bangkok, Thailand)

170+ Talaytayan MLE is co-sponsoring the 4th International Conference on Language and Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific – Policies, Practices and Processes to be held on November 6-8, 2013 at Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. Other organizers are: UNESCO-Bangkok, UNICEF, SIL, RILCA, CARE, AIT, SEAMEO, ROYIN, RtR, PLAN, DVV, LSP and TAP. See http://www.lc.mahidol.ac.th/mleconf2013/organizing.htm

Objectives

  • To showcase promising practices so as to increase understanding of the importance of expanding access to effective MLE and strengthen the momentum for MLE in the AsiaPacific region. 
  • To adopt a common definition of MLE and enhance understanding of its characteristics in the Asian context;
  • To support the mainstreaming of MLE by showcasing recent policy developments in the Asia-Pacific region; 
  • To determine the factors that enable effective, efficient and sustainable MLE by sharing challenges and lessons learned from current MLE practice; 
  • To identify promising practices in monitoring and evaluating MLE; 
  • To expand the role of the Asia-Pacific Regional MLE Network and increase synergies among actors around the region and the world to promote MLE

Below is the tarpaulin that Talaytayan will set-up. 

8.07.2013

A PRIVILEGE SPEECH BY THE HONORABLE REPRESENTATIVE MAGTANGGOL T. GUNIGUNDO I IN COMMEMORATION OF BUWAN NG WIKA 2013

August 5, 2013

HON. MAGTANGGOL T. GUNIGUNDO I

Ginoong Ispiker, bilang paggunita sa Buwan ng Wika, nais ko pong talakayin ang tungkol sa estado ng mga lengguwahe ng ating bansa at ang tungkol sa ahensyang inatasan upang pangalagaan ang mga ito. 

Gusto ko pong magsimula sa mga pangalang “Tagalog”, “Pilipino”, at “Filipino”, Ginoong Ispiker.  Makailang beses na rin nating binagu-bago ang pangalan ng ating pambansang wika nang hindi naman naiiba ang esensya nito. Sa mga paaralan, tinuruan tayo na ang “Tagalog / Pilipino” ay tumutukoy sa dating pambansang wika na ang basehan ay Tagalog lamang.  Tinuruan din tayo na ang “Filipino” naman ay ang kasalukuyang wikang pambansa na nakabatay sa lahat ng wika ng Pilipinas.

Parang may mali sa ganitong mga haka-haka, Ginoong Ispiker.

Kumbisido ako, Ginoong Ispiker, na ang “Tagalog”,“Pilipino”, at “Filipino” ay iisang lengguwahe lamang.  Bakit ko po nasabi ito?  Ito’y sapagkat malayang nagkaka-intindihan ang mga nagsasalita ng Tagalog/Pilipino at nagsasalita ng Filipino.  Sa wikang Ingles, mutually intelligible ang Tagalog/Pilipino at Filipino.  Ito ang pangunahing paraan ng mga linguista para malaman kung ang dalawa o higit pang pananalita ay nabibilang sa iisang wika o magkakaibang wika.  

Ang isa pang panukat para malaman kung nagsasalita ang mga tao ng iisang wika o magkaibang wika ay ang gramatika.  Ang mga pananalita ay itinuturing na kabilang sa isang wika kung magkapareho ang kanilang gramatika.  Ang tanong ay:  Magkaiba ba ang grammar o balarila ng“Tagalog”, “Pilipino”, at “Filipino”? Malinaw po na hindi.  Kung gayon, ang “Tagalog”, “Pilipino”, at“Filipino” ay nabibilang lamang sa isang wika.

The next question is:  Are other speech varieties, like Binisaya, Ilokano, Hiligaynon to name a few, languages or dialects?  The answer is they are full-fledged languages, Mr. Speaker, since they are not mutually intelligible and they have different grammars.  In fact there are 170 separate Philippine languages. They are NOT “dialects.”  The term “dialect” is reserved for geographical linguistic variants, like Tagalog-Bulacan, Tagalog-Batangas and Tagalog-Quezon, or Cebuano-Binisaya, Iliganon-Binisaya, or Davao-Binisaya.  When answering “yes”, for instance, there are Ilocanos who say either “wen” or “wən”.  Some have the “e” sound while others have the “ə” sound.  Despite the variation in pronunciation, intonation and vocabulary, these Ilokano speakers can understand each other, and therefore it is correct to say that they speak different dialects of the same language.

The discussion, Mr. Speaker, takes us to “Filipino” which is the name chosen for our national language under the 1987 Constitution.  As I have said, that language is supposed to be based not only on Tagalog but also on other Philippine languages.  But Mr. Speaker, I must admit that Filipino is still “evolving” into its ideal multilingual character.  At present, it is still predominantly Tagalog/Pilipino and probably will stay that way for several generations.  I don’t find anything fundamentally wrong with that so long as this language is accepted by our people.  After all, it is the people who use and sustain languages and not those who study them.     

But a quarter of a century after the national language was renamed Filipino, most people still refer to it as Tagalog, except in school where it is called Filipino in reference to the subject.  They call it Tagalog because they recognize it to be the same language they have come to know a long time ago and because they refuse to kowtow to the arbitrary wishes of those who want to police the expressions of our national and collective life.

Mr. Speaker, the designation of Tagalog, then Pilipino, and afterwards Filipino as wikang pambansa, has led to a dangerous misconception that our pambansang panitikan or national literature should be written in the national language.   Thus, any work written in a language other than in the wikang pambansa is not considered part of the national literature but of the regional literature. 

The over-focusing and over-privileging of one region’s language and literary imagination has a parallel development in the writing of our nation’s history.  The struggles in the various regions for freedom and democracy have been ignored in favor of the political center’s narrative of the making of the nation.  Hence, the pantheon of heroism in the national struggle marginalizes the roles of Dagohoy of Bohol, Leon Quilat of Cebu and Sultan Kudarat of Mindanao, among many others in successive generations of Philippine heroes.      

In order to correct these historical and cultural inequities, Mr. Speaker, a kambyo sa pananaw—as some Bisayan friends call it—is very much in order, especially on how we value our linguistic and cultural diversity.  It is this diversity that we must recognize as our social and cultural resource, and our intellectual capital. By this diversity we shall be able to evolve a truly liberating education, an education that teaches our people the collective virtue of a Philippine nation built upon the variety of the memories,experiences, dreams, aspirations, and ambitions of our different ethno-linguistic communities.  Our people know we are many, and out of this many-ness we are committed to be one national community.  This, Mr. Speaker, is our guiding light in nurturing our cultural pluralism.

It must be pointed out that while the people have embraced Filipino as our common language, they have done so without repudiating their own native languages.  According to the latest census, the number of speakers of large-sized languages (such as Tagalog, Binisaya, Iloko, Bikol, Waray, Kapampangan, Maguindanao) and medium sized-languages (such as Kankanaey, Ibanag, Manobo, Ifugao, Masbateño) continue to grow.  It is the small languages (such as the Aeta languages) that appear to be threatened with extinction.

The country’s native languages, including Filipino sign language of our Deaf population, have been given official status through the institutionalization of mother tongue-based multilingual instruction in our education system.  Republic Act No. 10533 signed by President Aquino last May 15, 2013, provides that basic education shall be conducted in the learner’s native languages throughout kindergarten and the elementary grades.  English and Filipino shall be gradually introduced beginning Grade 4 until such time that these can become the primary languages of instruction at the secondary level.

The multilingual provisions in RA 10533, also known as the K-12 law, are incontrovertible evidence that our country has shifted from a “one nation, one language” mindset to one that recognizes our linguistic and cultural pluralism.  We are witness to the steady realization of President Aquino’s vision of using English to connect with the world, the national language to connect with our country, and the native languages to connect with our heritage.  In short, Mr. Speaker, that kambyo sa pananaw that I am talking about has already taken place among our people.       

However, these goals have been muddled by the very institution we have entrusted to take care of our languages so that they may survive and thrive.  Recently, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipinoannounced that it is changing the official name of our country from “Pilipinas” to “Filipinas”. 

Is KWF not aware of Sec. 2, Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution that gives Congress the authority to change the name of our country?

Is KWF not aware of Republic Act no. 8491, sections 41 and 42 that provides that the coat of arms and seal of our country  must contain the words “Republika ng Pilipinas” with a ”P” not “F”.  

Is KWF not aware that the President uses Pilipinas to refer to our country, as he did in his State of the Nation Address? If no less than the President of the Republic of the Philippines uses “Pilipinas” in his SONA, then I am certain without fear of being validly contradicted that this is official.     

In other countries, the responsibility of establishing principles, policies and procedures for the naming of places and other geographical sites rests on a geographical names board, and not on a language agency. In the Philippines, changing the name of our country is the constitutional mandate of Congress. 

Republic Act No. 7104 which was enacted in 1991, created the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, our national language agency. Section 6 of this law explicitly states:  “No one shall be appointed as commissioner unless he/she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, at least thirty (30) years old, morally upright and noted for his/her expertise in linguistics, the culture and the language of the ethno-linguistic region and the discipline he/she represents.”   It is clear from the wordings of the original law that a KWF commissioner must be noted for his/her expertise in linguistics. 

The original Implementing Rules and Regulations dated April 15, 1992 accurately reflects the text of R.A. 7104 pertaining to this particular qualification on linguistic expertise.

Curiously, when the proponents of “Filipinas” took over the language agency, one of the first things that they did, Mr. Speaker, was to promulgate a new IRR on February 13, 2013 that deleted this particular qualification.  Instead of “kadalubhasaan sa linggwistika”, we now find in the 2013 IRR  “kadalubhasaan sa wika, panitikan, kultura, at disiplinang kinakatawan”

“Kadalubhasaan sa wika at panitikan” translates to“expertise in language and literature”, Mr. Speaker, which is not the same as “expertise in linguistics.”  The former refers to the use of language; the latter to the scientific study of the nature of languages.  One may be good at using a language in writing and in speech, but may be completely ignorant of how languages are described in scientific terms, and hence, on how a language works.

Many are asking, Mr. Speaker:  Are the new KWF officials not experts in linguistics? Were the new IRR of 2013 written to justify their appointment?   I call on my colleagues in the Commission on Appointments to scrutinize the qualifications of these KWF officials on the basis of the original wordings,spirit and intent of RA 7104. It is an accepted legal principle that the law is superior to any implementing rules and regulations.    

Mr. Speaker, let me be straightforward about all these.  I think that it is time we re-invent the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and discard the “one nation, one language” concept under which it was built. 

In its ashes, let us establish a Komisyon ng mga Wika sa Pilipinas or Commission on Philippine Languages.  Let us inscribe in its banner “one nation,many languages” as its official motto, and declare “respect for all Philippine languages and cultures” as its guiding principle. 

The new Komisyon shall undertake, coordinate, and promote research for the development, propagation, and preservation of Philippine languages, including the national language, without valorizing one or two languages and marginalizing others.   

The new Komisyon shall have regional sub-commissions composed of representatives and staff from the various languages and cultures in the regions who will carry out most of the commission’s study, research, development, and publication functions. 

The new Komisyon shall be governed by a board consisting of the heads of these sub-commissions, democratically chosen by their constituents and whose appointments are affirmed by the President.

Bilang pangwakas, nais ko pong isalaysay sa inyo ang isang katutubong paniniwala sa pagpapalit ng pangalan ng bata. Kapag ang bata ay nagkaroon ng malubhang sakit, nakasanayan nang palitan ang kanyang pangalan. Ginagawa raw ito upang iligaw ang masasamang espiritu at hindi sila makapagdulot ng sakit sa bata. Magandang kuwento ito, Ginoong Ispiker, sapagkat walang iniba ito sa ginagawa nating pagpapalit ng pangalan ng ating mga maysakit na institusyon nang hindi naman ginagamot ang karamdaman ng mga ito. Walang katuturan ang pagpapalit ng pangalan kung hindi natin matukoy ang sakit at mahanapan ito ng mabisang lunas.

Maraming salamat po, Ginoong Ispiker.

Statement of support for the 3 HS students who were expelled for speaking Ilocano in school



170+ Talaytayan MLE’s STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE ILOKANO STUDENTS


This statement is being issued in support of Kleinee Bautista, Carl Andrew Abadilla, and Samuel Respicio, three Ilokano students expelled from their school, Saviour’s Christian Academy by the school president, Rev Dr Brian Shah.

The expulsion of these students clearly suggest the urgency of rethinking and revisiting key issues related to language rights and to emancipatory education, two values 170+ Talaytayan MLE hold dear.

We wish to enumerate them here: one, their speaking Ilokano, an act prohibited in that school’s speak-English-only policy; two, their having been expelled without due process; three, the relevance or the lack of it, of that school’s policy in the holistic education of these young people; and four, the legal context of the school regulation vis-à-vis the Philippine government’s educational policy on mother tongue-based multilingual education.

We are issuing this statement in our capacity as a non-government organization whose aim is to help in evolving an emancipatory educational paradigm for all peoples of the Philippines, a paradigm based on the inconvertible truths of diversity, linguistic justice, cultural democracy, and human rights.

In light of this new direction of Philippine basic education, we find this act of Rev Shah unacceptable, and thus, call for his resignation from that school which he claims as his own school.

Likewise, we commiserate with these three students who have now become symbols of oppression, of continuing mis-education, and of the need to address the fundamental reality of multiplicity in this country, a reality that must always be taken into account in an attempt to equip young people with the needed life-long learning skills and competencies.

We wish to express here our position on the matter.

First, the prohibition of the Ilokano language (and other native languages) in this school, and in any school in the Philippines under the supervision of the Department of Education, is counterproductive to the students, and their expulsion because of the criminalization of their act of speaking in their native tongue is unjust and unfair.

Second, due process remains a bastion of a decent interpretation of justice; we deny due process to those perceived violators of a school regulation and we deny them justice.

Third, in the holistic education of students, the use of their native language follows the basic rule in education of starting every student from what that student knows. What the student knows in the beginning, a knowledge that needs expansion, elaboration, and integration, is what his first, native, or mother language mediates.

Fourth, this act of depriving the students of their native language particularly in their school community where learning ought to happen is contradictory to the very principles of the Philippine government’s educational directive on the mother tongue.

In all four counts, we find Rev Shah’s actuation short of what is acceptable, and thus, we are calling for his resignation from his post as president of that school, and if he is a foreigner who has abused his stay in this country, to leave this country immediately.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/321073/news/specialreports/for-speaking-ilokano-3-students-asked-to-leave-christian-school

http://www.rappler.com/nation/35762-students-expelled-speaking-ilocano

7.08.2013

Isabelo delos Reyes - Filipino Anthropologist, writer and publisher of the first Ilocano newspaper

Today, I came to know and truly appreciate the life of a fellow-Ilocano, Isabelo delos Reyes... He could have probably became a national hero because he was imprisoned for the same reason that Rizal was and was about to  die in the same way, but probably because he had so many children that God spared him from martyrdom. I wonder why he has not been hailed as one of the known heroes. Was it because he defied so strongly the Roman Catholic Church by founding the Philippine Independent Church?

I was particularly struck that he published the first Ilocano newspaper and he became a self-taught anthropologist. He was counted among the intelligentsia but maintained solidarity with the grassroots. The following write-up is taken from the program guide of the Phil Anthropology Day Celebration at the UP College of Education on July 8, 2013.

*****************
Anthropology Day activities draw inspiration from Isabelo de los Reyes, a seminal figure in the practice of anthropology in the Philippines...

Isabelo de los Reyes, born on July 7, 1864 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to the Ilocana poet Leona Florentino, was at an early age placed under the care of his uncle Mena Crisologo, a lawyer and a prominent member of Ilocos' literary intelligentsia. In 1880, at only sixteen years of age and without his uncle's consent, Isabelo struck out for Manila. He studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and completed the bachelor's program with honors in 1883; eventually he graduated from law at the University of Santo Tomas (in 1887). As a teenager he found work with a Spanish-language newspaper whose editor Jose Felipe del Pan mentored him and introduced him to the study of folklore. Isabelo de los Reyes went on to distinguish himself in a remarkable career as a writer in a politically repressive, socially conservative, and race-conscious era. In his life he married three times and had 27 children. He became a councilor of Manila and a senator. He died in 1938.

Isabelo de los Reyes confronted both Spanish and American colonialism in prolific and incendiary writings. He would own a printing press, build political parties, campaign for Philippine representation and eventually independence, be instrumental in the formation of an independent national church (Iglesia Filipina Independiente in 1902), and organize the first Philippine labor federation under socialist principles (Union Obrera Democratica, 1902). De los Reyes wrote in Spanish and in Ilocano, he published what was said to be the first vernacular newspaper in the Philippines (El Ilocano, founded in 1889, and widely distributed in 12 provinces of Luzon) even as he also wrote articles for newspapers in the Visayas. His writings ranged from social commentary to historical papers that were hailed as 'extensive and thorough' in utilizing both documents and primary sources.

At age 20, he had submitted an article to a Spanish folklore journal which had “established him as a leading authority” (Kramer 1998:1028)—he corresponded with Ferdinand Blumentritt and other European scholars. Blumentritt translated his writings to German where they saw publication in Vienna by the Geographic Society. At age 23, de los Reyes won a silver medal for El Folk-Lore Filipino (1889) at the Madrid Exposicion Filipina (at around the same time when Jose Rizal, age 25, was composing Noli me Tangere in Europe [Anderson 2004:197]). Imprisonment in Bilibid in 1898 on suspicion of subversion became occasion for him to gather material from fellow prisoners and to write on the religion of the Katipunan (“Memoria sobre la Revolucion”), which he saw as the true and ancient Filipino faith brought to life by the revolutionary society. This work was completed after being deported and incarcerated in Montjuich Castle in Barcelona where he continued to gather revolutionary details among Spanish anarchists and labor leaders (Kramer 1998:1029).

Among his other published works are the books Ilocanadas (1887), Filipinas: Articulos varios sobre ethnografia, historia y costumbres del pais (1887 [contains articles on the Tinguians, the Lima Hong invasion of Luzon in 1574, and on the first rulers of Manila for which he interviewed Lacandola's descendants]), Las Islas Visayas en la epoca de la conquista (1889), Prehistoria de Filipinas (1889), the two-volume Historia de Ilocos (1890), Ang Comediang Tagalog (1904), Religion Antigua de los Filipinos (1909).

Understanding the link between the production of knowledge and the maintenance of colonial power, Isabelo de los Reyes engaged in nationalist counter-representation. Writing as a lawyer, he critically annotated Spanish legislation. He defended the comedia as a 'Filipino' art form, not just against denigration by Spaniards, but also against the Filipino elite who were embarrassed by 'backwardness' in Filipino culture. He engaged with the dominant knowledge of the West as critic- scholar and also as culture-maker; he wrote and published almanacs and compilations, and attempted translation of the Italian opera Aida into an Ilocano comedia. He espoused local knowledge and trusted in folk wisdom and 'intuition', but was not a purist; he stressed “analogues, borrowings and adaptations across cultures” (Mojares 2006:359). El Folklore Filipino contains descriptions of religious festivals, the varieties of anitos, the “names of sites and places not written on maps”. Mojares writes that Isabelo de los Reyes'

 “...primary contribution lies in the trails he opened up in the study of culture”, In El Folk-lore Filipino he “saw his work in folklore as a Filipino project, one that did not only primarily address Filipinos but involved them in a collective endeavor. He conceived it as an emancipatory project, one that did not exoticize the native or the past but was fully engaged in the realities of the present and the possibilities of the future... he “de-exoticizes” local customs by pointing to parallels elsewhere in the world, and, in a more overtly political move, arguing that “backward” superstitions may have been introduced into the country by the Spaniards themselves. 

He “de-primitivizes” folklore by focusing on its living presence in the Philippines of his own time, expanding the “folk” to include the “popular” such that the workings of the irrational colonial bureaucracy are as much the people's lore as a Tinguian ritual. In the process what he calls into view are not mere relics or survivals but the entire range of a people's lived experience.

... He subverts the pretentions to intellectual and moral superiority of Spaniards and friars by citing not only analogues between local and European superstitions but, in his style of radical mischief, positing that some of the local “barbaric” beliefs (even the Devil himself) may have been invented by the Spaniards themselves. Raising the example of a “savage” in southern Ilocos who may discover in a local fruit a better antidote to cholera, he points to what local knowledge can add to Western medical science. Alluding to the depth of indigenous knowledge about flora and fauna and climatic variations, he unsettles the reign of Western knowledge by boasting of what remains “hidden”.

More important, he looks toward the future—of Ilocos and the “nation” by claiming folklore as a means for establishing a history deeper and longer than that framed by Spanish coloniality and uncovering a cutural unity for groups characterized as an anarchy of tribes and races.... Moreover, he sees his project as a means for social selfcriticism since, seeing themselves in the mirror of their own practices, people can then proceed to reform what in their culture does not conduce to their common progress. (Mojares 2006:353-4) 

Isabelo de los Reyes presented himself as one who also “knew what the Europeans knew”. Yet among his illustrado contemporaries, de los Reyes was different; the home-grown intellectual also called himself 'brother of the forest peoples, Aetas, Igorots and Tinguians' (“hermano de los selvaticos, aetas, igorrotes y tinguianes” [Anderson 2004:204]). His comparative folklore “enabled him to bridge the deepest chasm in colonial society” which, says Anderson, lay not between colonizer and colonized lowlander, “they were all Catholics and dealt with one another all the time”, but “between all of these and those whom we would today call 'tribal minorities' – hill people, hunters and gatherers, 'head-hunters'; men, women and children facing a future of – possibly violent – assimilation, even extermination” (Anderson 2004:204).

Engaging the questions on language, race and origins of Filipinos, Isabelo worked within the grid of Western ethnology while assuming a critical stance towards Western scholarship. A 'native' writing about his own country, proud of his provincial and ethnic origins, he took perspective from both the 'inside' and the 'outside' (in his writings, the Ilocanos were 'they' and not 'we'). Isabelo de los Reyes saw in popular knowledge (“saber popular”) “the 'genius' out of which modern science itself has evolved, arguing that it is out of its specificities that Filipinos can make their own distinctive contribution to world knowledge” (Mojares 2006:363).

References

Benedict Anderson. (2004). The Rooster's Egg: Pioneering World Folklore in the Philippines. In Christopher Prendergast (ed.), Debating World Literature. Verso, London. pp.197-213

 Paul Kramer. (1998). Folklore, Science and Filibusterismo Between Empires, 1879-1901. In Elmer A. OrdoÑez (ed.), The Philippine Revolution and Beyond, Vol.2. Philippine Centennial Commission, National Commission on Culture and the Arts, Manila. pp.1026-1033

Resil Mojares. (2006). Isabelo de los Reyes. In Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes and the Production of Modern Knowledge. Ateneo de Manila University Press, Quezon City. pp.253-380


6.04.2013

Dedicated to a Cause Greater than Themselves

The article below is taken from "Starting Where the Learners Are" edited by Ricardo Nolasco, Francisco Datar and Arnold Azurin  (2010), available at the Dept of Linguistics, UP, Diliman.  It is a narrative about the experiences of  teachers at Lubuagan, Kalinga who began implementing MTBMLE many years before MTBMLE was institutionalized by DepEd....I am sure the new MTBMLE teachers today can fully relate to the initial struggles these Kalinga teachers had in teaching a language that they knew only in oral form...

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For the past two years, my graduate class in Socio-Cultural Foundations of Education would travel for 15 hours to Lubuagan, Kalinga to visit the classes that use Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE). I was able to observe the activities of the MTBMLE teachers and listen to their stories and musings about their unique experiences.

Productive Noise
The three elementary schools that house the MTBMLE program are found in Mabilong, Agama, and at the poblacion or the town center. Mabilong is situated in the middle of a hill which requires a 20-minute hike from the town proper. Agama Elementary School can be reached after an hour and a half ride on a rough bumpy mountain trail and an additional 30-minute hike. Lubuagan Central Elementary School is found at a knoll at the end of a narrow cemented pathway that connects to the town proper. The schools are old wooden structures. Some portions like the walls and the walkways are cemented. Inside the classrooms are old wooden desks.

A typical MTBMLE classroom would have a handwritten poster of the Lilubuagen alphabet consisting of 21 characters including “By,” “Ch” and the bar Y or “Yy.” This “Yy” sound is found only in a few Philippine languages and this is what makes the language stand out from English and Filipino. Small posters with Filipino or English words are mostly translated in the Lilubuagen language. The cultural calendar contains the name of months in the local language—Kiyang, Malabya, Lechew, Ekey, Achawoy, Kitkiti, Wayu, Bisbis, Sechang, Ayachog, Upok, Kililing. Every month has a corresponding national event, weather condition, agricultural activity, fruits in season, and school activities. An MTBMLE teacher would develop themes that would correspond to the cultural calendar. Stories and learning activities would be rooted on the themes for the given month. Using the cultural calendar ensures that lessons emanate from the daily lived experience of the learners. One drawing of a farmer used by an MTBMLE teacher has the context of an upland farm. This practice is aligned with an MTBMLE principle that materials should “reflect the culture and lifestyle of the students and encourage comprehension development and reflection on the content by including familiar situations and increased contextual clues.” In contrast, when the grade two standardized textbooks used by non-MTBMLE classes were examined, I found photos of a flyover, a cookie jar, traffic lights—things that are culturally alien.

One particular room we visited was a grade three class with about 30 students. Posted on the board were some photos and words. The teacher, Lea Lombos, was in her early 30’s. When we entered the classroom, Lea was in the middle of reading a storybook in Lilubuagen. Every now and then, she would pause to make a comment. After she finished reading, she asked the class what they thought of the story. The class quickly sprung to life, with many pupils raising their hands, shouting “Mam! Mam!”, begging the teacher to call them and share their ideas. Later the discussion extended into practical concerns like finding ways to avoid dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Throughout the whole process, the students were actively involved. The exchanges were often punctuated with instantaneous laughter.

Former DepEd Secretary, Edilberto de Jesus, once went to observe an MTBMLE class in Lubuagan. His succinct description of the pupils was “they knew what was going on and they were clearly engaged in the learning process. ” Lea Lombos is proud that her pupils can express their ideas well and that they are enjoying her class. She explains that MTBMLE allows everybody, not just the smart ones to participate. Since they are familiar with the language, the students are able to give more examples. Another teacher relates that MTBMLE easily eliminates inhibition and fear in many pupils, especially the younger ones. She adds that fear and inhibition is the main reason why many grade one pupils drop out of school.

One of my students observed that in an MTBMLE class it is not only the students that are animated and energized, but the teachers as well. It is easy to get the impression that MTBMLE is burdensome with many teaching devices to prepare. Lea believes that after sometime, MTBMLE makes her work easier. She admits that she is not so adept in using Filipino or English. With the use of the mother tongue, she can easily explain the lessons at hand. MTBMLE eventually requires less preparation of visual aids since the students are already familiar with the concepts. It is unlike an English-only class where visual aids are needed to unlock an unfamiliar English word. Since there is less unlocking of unfamiliar concepts, the teacher utilizes most of the class time for more intelligent discussion.

Teachers Read and Write Like First Graders
Most MTBMLE teachers would say that the hardest part was learning to read and write in their mother tongue. Before, their mother tongue was just a spoken language. The first time they read texts in their mother tongue, they would read them aloud slowly and haltingly like first graders. It took one to two years before they went beyond the “stumbling period” and became comfortable in teaching through the mother tongue. They especially had trouble reading and writing using the bar Y (Yy) since it was not a known letter in the
Filipino or English alphabet.

Rediscovering their Mother Tongue
The process of writing original stories during the MTBMLE training sessions made them realize that they have forgotten and lost many of the words that they grew up with. They discovered that many of the words they spoke daily were actually Ilocano, not original Lilubuagen words. Ilocano has been their trade language, widely used in Tabuk, the capital of Kalinga. In some situations when they could not find the right words that approximate certain ideas, they had to go and consult with the elderly members of the community. If they found several words to describe a particular idea, they would adopt the simplest form. In the whole process, the teachers did not only rediscover the lost Lilubuagen words but also came to nurture a deeper sense of valuing for their own language. One teacher said, “I am sad that the young people today do not know original Lilubuagen words like how we call the anahaw leaf which is alaaw. They have also forgotten the names of some indigenous kitchen utensils since they have come to prefer those plastic wares.”

There is an ongoing debate on what type of language should be used in an MTBMLE program. Some would use existing popularly spoken words which might include borrowed words from other languages. Others would look for the original words used by their ethnic group. The Lubuagan teachers believe that borrowed words like Ilocano do not sound like their own. They feel that part of their task in MTBMLE is to save their own language. This requires them to constantly rebuild the vocabulary in their own language. The whole process of re-learning their language also brought about a revitalization of their culture. MTBMLE schools always have a ready group of students to perform the native music and dance before school visitors. During our interviews, teachers and other Lubuagan residents would express pride over their various types of dances, their indigenous peacekeeping process (bodong), their handicrafts like bead making and weaving, their high standards for cleanliness, and their hospitality to strangers.

Reframing teaching and learning
One strong message in MTBMLE training sessions is not to resort to rote learning. When asked why they resort to such methods, teachers would usually point to the language of learning as the culprit. Because they and their learners are not adept in the prescribed languages of instruction, real dialogue with the pupils could not take place. Pupils then develop the habit of mechanically copying notes from the board and memorizing them even if they do not comprehend what they really mean. Participants in MTBMLE training would sometimes reflect on their own schooling experience and would express sadness and anger over being deprived of their voices as learners.

Now with the use of the mother tongue, pupils as early as grade one are able to write their own ideas and form them into a simple story or a song. Narcisa said that even low performing grade one pupils can manage to write at least two sentences. Seeing grade one pupils write their own stories is something that I found exceptional. Lea noticed that her pupils, having gone through MTBMLE in the previous grades, would correct her when she would misspell a certain Lilubuagen word.

Pupils from MTBMLE classes seem to have greater appreciation for reading. During recess time, they would go to the book shelves to open and read the books. Younger pupils would pretend to read by pointing at the words with their index finger from left to right. They would also go to the library to borrow books written in Lilubuagen. Narcisa describes it in Ilocano—“Marunot iti libro kaniada” (With them, books would soon be tattered from too much use).

Teachers know how hard it was to learn through an alien language. They would go back to the time in the 1960s when the vernacular was supposed to be the medium of instruction. However since their teachers were Ilocano, they were forced to learn to read and write in their teachers’ language. That time nobody from
Lubuagan was qualified to be a professional teacher. It was most difficult when the bilingual policy was imposed in 1974. Norma was in the middle of her social studies class when her supervisor came. She was asked to immediately switch from English to Tagalog. An official document was placed on her lap detailing the new language of instruction policy. At that time Tagalog was still unknown in her area. Teaching became burdensome and unnatural because she had to consult a Tagalog-English dictionary so often. She said that the pupils now are more fortunate because Tagalog is learned through radio and television. Norma related how troubled she was when she learned in the 1990s that Lubuagan was among the poor performing schools. Realizing that the language of instruction was a major cause, she and her husband volunteered for the MTBMLE program that was introduced by the Dekker couple from SIL. Norma along with other
MTBMLE teachers had to endure the criticisms from their fellow teachers and parents. The parents complained that the reason they sent their children to school was to learn Filipino and English, and not their own language. The parents who eventually came to support MTBMLE were those who saw that their children can read better compared to their older siblings who were educated in the traditional bilingual education curriculum.

Through MLE, Lubuagan has become the top performer in the whole division of Kalinga. In a feature story on TV by Howie Severino, it was found that Lubuagan pupils even outperformed the pupils of Caloocan City, Metro Manila. When the teachers in Mabilong read for the first time a copy of the Department of Education Order No. 74 Institutionalizing Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education, they became jubilant upon discovering that the Lubuagan MTBMLE experience was mentioned in the first page of the said document. They said that they are happy that finally the government recognizes what they do. Now they have something to show to non-believers of the program. Indeed the road to MTBMLE has not been an easy path for teachers. Edilberto de Jesus described the teachers’ initiatives as a form of “dedication to a cause greater than themselves for the sake of national welfare of the country.”
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Ched Arzadon is the board secretary of 170+ Talaytayan MLE Inc. and is a fulltime faculty member at the UP College of Education in Diliman.


5.15.2013

Full text of REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10533 “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013″

Republic Act No. 10533
S. No. 3286
H. No. 6643
Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines

Metro Manila
Fifteenth Congress
Third Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand twelve.
[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10533]
AN ACT ENHANCING THE PHILIPPINE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM BY STRENGTHENING ITS CURRICULUM AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF YEARS FOR BASIC EDUCATION, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Short Title. — This Act shall be known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013″.
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy.  The State shall establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people, the country and society-at-large.
Likewise, it is hereby declared the policy of the State that every graduate of basic education shall be an empowered individual who has learned, through a program that is rooted on sound educational principles and geared towards excellence, the foundations for learning throughout life, the competence to engage in work and be productive, the ability to coexist in fruitful harmony with local and global communities, the capability to engage in autonomous, creative, and critical thinking, and the capacity and willingness to transform others and one’s self.
For this purpose, the State shall create a functional basic education system that will develop productive and responsible citizens equipped with the essential competencies, skills and values for both life-long learning and employment. In order to achieve this, the State shall:
(a) Give every student an opportunity to receive quality education that is globally competitive based on a pedagogically sound curriculum that is at par with international standards;
(b) Broaden the goals of high school education for college preparation, vocational and technical career opportunities as well as creative arts, sports and entrepreneurial employment in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized environment; and
(c) Make education learner-oriented and responsive to the needs, cognitive and cultural capacity, the circumstances and diversity of learners, schools and communities through the appropriate languages of teaching and learning, including mother tongue as a learning resource.
SEC. 3. Basic Education. — Basic education is intended to meet basic learning needs which provides the foundation on which subsequent learning can be based. It encompasses kindergarten, elementary and secondary education as well as alternative learning systems for out-of-school learners and those with special needs.
SEC. 4. Enhanced Basic Education Program. — The enhanced basic education program encompasses at least one (1) year of kindergarten education, six (6) years of elementary education, and six (6) years of secondary education, in that sequence. Secondary education includes four (4) years of junior high school and two (2) years of senior high school education.
Kindergarten education shall mean one (1) year of preparatory education for children at least five (5) years old as a prerequisite for Grade I.
Elementary education refers to the second stage of compulsory basic education which is composed of six (6) years. The entrant age to this level is typically six (6) years old.
Secondary education refers to the third stage of compulsory basic education. It consists of four (4) years of junior high school education and two (2) years of senior high school education. The entrant age to the junior and senior high school levels are typically twelve (12) and sixteen (16) years old, respectively.
Basic education shall be delivered in languages understood by the learners as the language plays a strategic role in shaping the formative years of learners.
For kindergarten and the first three (3) years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials and assessment shall be in the regional or native language of the learners. The Department of Education (DepED) shall formulate a mother language transition program from Grade 4 to Grade 6 so that Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction until such time when these two (2) languages can become the primary languages of instruction at the secondary level.
For purposes of this Act, mother language or first Language (LI) refers to language or languages first learned by a child, which he/she identifies with, is identified as a native language user of by others, which he/she knows best, or uses most. This includes Filipino sign language used by individuals with pertinent disabilities. The regional or native language refers to the traditional speech variety or variety of Filipino sign language existing in a region, area or place.
SEC. 5. Curriculum Development. — The DepED shall formulate the design and details of the enhanced basic education curriculum. It shall work with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to craft harmonized basic and tertiary curricula for the global competitiveness of Filipino graduates. To ensure college readiness and to avoid remedial and duplication of basic education subjects, the DepED shall coordinate with the CHED and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
To achieve an effective enhanced basic education curriculum, the DepED shall undertake consultations with other national government agencies and other stakeholders including, but not limited to, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), the private and public schools associations, the national student organizations, the national teacher organizations, the parents-teachers associations and the chambers of commerce on matters affecting the concerned stakeholders.
The DepED shall adhere to the following standards and principles in developing the enhanced basic education curriculum:
(a) The curriculum shall be learner-centered, inclusive and developmentally appropriate;
(b) The curriculum shall be relevant, responsive and research-based;
(c) The curriculum shall be culture-sensitive;
(d) The curriculum shall be contextualized and global;
(e) The curriculum shall use pedagogical approaches that are constructivist, inquiry-based, reflective, collaborative and integrative;
(f) The curriculum shall adhere to the principles and framework of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) which starts from where the learners are and from what they already knew proceeding from the known to the unknown; instructional materials and capable teachers to implement the MTB-MLE curriculum shall be available;
(g) The curriculum shall use the spiral progression approach to ensure mastery of knowledge and skills after each level; and
(h) The curriculum shall be flexible enough to enable and allow schools to localize, indigenize and enhance the same based on their respective educational and social contexts. The production and development of locally produced teaching materials shall be encouraged and approval of these materials shall devolve to the regional and division education units.
SEC. 6. Curriculum Consultative Committee. — There shall be created a curriculum consultative committee chaired by the DepED Secretary or his/her duly authorized representative and with members composed of, but not limited to, a representative each from the CHED, the TESDA, the DOLE, the PRC, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and a representative from the business chambers such as the Information Technology – Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry association. The consultative committee shall oversee the review and evaluation on the implementation of the basic education curriculum and may recommend to the DepED the formulation of necessary refinements in the curriculum.
SEC. 7. Teacher Education and Training. — To ensure that the enhanced basic education program meets the demand for quality teachers and school leaders, the DepED and the CHED, in collaboration with relevant partners in government, academe, industry, and nongovernmental organizations, shall conduct teacher education and training programs, as specified:
(a) In-service Training on Content and Pedagogy — Current DepED teachers shall be retrained to meet the content and performance standards of the new K to 12 curriculum.
The DepED shall ensure that private education institutions shall be given the opportunity to avail of such training.
(b) Training of New Teachers. — New graduates of the current Teacher Education curriculum shall undergo additional training, upon hiring, to upgrade their skills to the content standards of the new curriculum. Furthermore, the CHED, in coordination with the DepED and relevant stakeholders, shall ensure that the Teacher Education curriculum offered in these Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) will meet necessary quality standards for new teachers. Duly recognized organizations acting as TEIs, in coordination with the DepED, the CHED, and other relevant stakeholders, shall ensure that the curriculum of these organizations meet the necessary quality standards for trained teachers.
(c) Training of School Leadership. — Superintendents, principals, subject area coordinators and other instructional school leaders shall likewise undergo workshops and training to enhance their skills on their role as academic, administrative and community leaders.
Henceforth, such professional development programs as those stated above shall be initiated and conducted regularly throughout the school year to ensure constant upgrading of teacher skills.
SEC. 8. Hiring of Graduates of Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering and Other Specialists in Subjects With a Shortage of Qualified Applicants, Technical-Vocational Courses and Higher Education Institution Faculty. — Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 26, 27 and 28 of Republic Act No. 7836, otherwise known as the “Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act of 1994″, the DepED and private education institutions shall hire, as may be relevant to the particular subject:
(a) Graduates of science, mathematics, statistics, engineering, music and other degree courses with shortages in qualified Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) applicants to teach in their specialized subjects in the elementary and secondary education. Qualified LET applicants shall also include graduates admitted by foundations duly recognized for their expertise in the education sector and who satisfactorily complete the requirements set by these organizations: Provided, That they pass the LET within five (5) years after their date of hiring: Provided, further, That if such graduates are willing to teach on part-time basis, the provisions of LET shall no longer be required;
(b) Graduates of technical-vocational courses to teach in their specialized subjects in the secondary education: Provided, That these graduates possess the necessary certification issued by the TESDA: Provided, further, That they undergo appropriate in-service training to be administered by the DepED or higher education institutions (HEIs) at the expense of the DepED;
(c) Faculty of HEIs be allowed to teach in their general education or subject specialties in the secondary education: Provided, That the faculty must be a holder of a relevant Bachelor’s degree, and must have satisfactorily served as a full-time HEI faculty;
(d) The DepED and private education institutions may hire practitioners, with expertise in the specialized learning areas offered by the Basic Education Curriculum, to teach in the secondary level; Provided, That they teach on part-time basis only. For this purpose, the DepED, in coordination with the appropriate government agencies, shall determine the necessary qualification standards in hiring these experts.
SEC. 9. Career Guidance and Counselling Advocacy. — To properly guide the students in choosing the career tracks that they intend to pursue, the DepED, in coordination with the DOLE, the TESDA and the CHED, shall regularly conduct career advocacy activities for secondary level students. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 27 of Republic Act No. 9258, otherwise known as the “Guidance and Counselling Act of 2004″, career and employment guidance counsellors, who are not registered and licensed guidance counsellors, shall be allowed to conduct career advocacy activities to secondary level students of the school where they are currently employed; Provided, That they undergo a training program to be developed or accredited by the DepED.
SEC. 10. Expansion of E-GASTPE Beneficiaries. — The benefits accorded by Republic Act No. 8545, or the “Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act”, shall be extended to qualified students enrolled under the enhanced basic education.
The DepED shall engage the services of private education institutions and non-DepED schools offering senior high school through the programs under Republic Act No. 8545, and other financial arrangements formulated by the DepED and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) based on the principles of public-private partnership.
SEC. 11. Appropriations.  The Secretary of Education shall include in the Department’s program the operationalization of the enhanced basic education program, the initial funding of which shall be charged against the current appropriations of the DepED. Thereafter, the amount necessary for the continued implementation of the enhanced basic education program shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
SEC. 12. Transitory Provisions. — The DepED, the CHED and the TESDA shall formulate the appropriate strategies and mechanisms needed to ensure smooth transition from the existing ten (10) years basic education cycle to the enhanced basic education (K to 12) cycle. The strategies may cover changes in physical infrastructure, manpower, organizational and structural concerns, bridging models linking grade 10 competencies and the entry requirements of new tertiary curricula, and partnerships between the government and other entities. Modeling for senior high school may be implemented in selected schools to simulate the transition process and provide concrete data for the transition plan.
To manage the initial implementation of the enhanced basic education program and mitigate the expected multi-year low enrolment turnout for HEIs and Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) starting School Year 2016-2017, the DepED shall engage in partnerships with HEIs and TVIs for the utilization of the latter’s human and physical resources. Moreover, the DepED, the CHED, the TESDA, the TVIs and the HEIs shall coordinate closely with one another to implement strategies that ensure the academic, physical, financial, and human resource capabilities of HEIs and TVIs to provide educational and training services for graduates of the enhanced basic education program to ensure that they are not adversely affected. The faculty of HEIs and TVIs allowed to teach students of secondary education under Section 8 hereof, shall be given priority in hiring for the duration of the transition period. For this purpose, the transition period shall be provided for in the implementing rules and regulations (IRK).
SEC. 13. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Enhanced Basic Educational Program (K to 12 Program).  There is hereby created a Joint Oversight Committee to oversee, monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act.
The Oversight Committee shall be composed of five (5) members each from the Senate and from the House of Representatives, including Chairs of the Committees on Education, Arts and Culture, and Finance of both Houses. The membership of the Committee for every House shall have at least two (2) opposition or minority members.
SEC. 14. Mandatory Evaluation and Review. — By the end of School Year 2014-2015, the DepED shall conduct a mandatory review and submit a midterm report to Congress as to the status of implementation of the K to 12 program in terms of closing the following current shortages: (a) teachers; (b) classrooms; (c) textbooks; (d) seats; (e) toilets; and (f) other shortages that should be addressed.
The DepED shall include among others, in this midterm report, the following key metrics of access to and quality of basic education: (a) participation rate; (b) retention rate; (c) National Achievement Test results; (d) completion rate; (e) teachers’ welfare and training profiles; (f) adequacy of funding requirements; and (g) other learning facilities including, but not limited to, computer and science laboratories, libraries and library hubs, and sports, music and arts.
SEC. 15. Commitment to International Benchmarks. — The DepED shall endeavor to increase the per capita spending on education towards the immediate attainment of international benchmarks.
SEC. 16. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — Within ninety (90) days after the effectivity of this Act, the DepED Secretary, the CHED Chairperson and the TESDA Director-General shall promulgate the rules and regulations needed for the implementation of this Act.
SEC. 17. Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions hereof.
SEC. 18. Repealing Clause. — Pertinent provisions of Batas Pambansa Blg. 232 or the “Education Act of 1982″, Republic Act No. 9155 or the “Governance of Basic Education.
Act of 2001″, Republic Act No. 9258, Republic Act No. 7836, and all other laws, decrees, executive orders and rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SEC. 19. Effectivity Clause.  This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
Approved,
(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
of Representatives
(Sgd.) JUAN PONCE ENRILE
President of the Senate
This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3286 and House Bill No. 6643 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on January 30, 2013.
(Sgd.) MARILYN BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives
(Sgd.) EDWIN B. BELEN
Acting Senate Secretary
Approved: MAY 15 2013
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines