‘Educate first’: Filipinos react to Baybayin as national writing system

Nile Villa

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‘Educate first’: Filipinos react to Baybayin as national writing system
The House committee on basic education and culture has approved a bill seeking to make the pre-Hispanic script the Philippines' national writing system

MANILA, Philippines – What do you think would be the effects of having the Philippines’ pre-Hispanic writing system back?

On April 23, the House committee on basic education and culture approved a bill to make Baybayin the national writing system.

Authored by Pangasinan Representative Leopoldo Bataoil, House Bill 1022 seeks to require Baybayin translations in the following:

  • signage for streets, public facilities, buildings, hospitals, fire and police stations, community centers, and government halls
  • labels of locally-produced food products
  • mastheads of newspapers and other print publications

Among the various thoughts expressed by Filipinos on Facebook and Twitter, there was a concensus on one point: the government should first introduce Baybayin into the education system before requiring its widespread use.

Facebook user Peter dela Peña said “it should be taught at schools for literary purposes,” and a number of other commenters echoed this sentiment.

Others pointed out that it would be difficult to teach since educators lack the necessary knowledge of the language.

Some even lamented that teachers were not consulted about the proposal.

One person recalled how another country was able to change its national writing system.

Many commenters were dismayed that the lawmakers are looking at things like this when more urgent concerns need to be addressed, such as the recently implemented K-12 schooling system.

Irate commenters pointed out that the move was a waste of time and money, some even suggesting that the ancient language was obsolete.

Based on the reactions posted on Rappler, several commenters thinks re-introducing Baybayin would be impractical. They are apprehensive about the cost of implementation should this bill become law. 

What are your thoughts on the bill to make Baybayin the country’s national writing system? – Rappler.com

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