Department of Education

Netizens question DepEd’s priorities after Panatang Makabayan amendment

Christa Escudero

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Netizens question DepEd’s priorities after Panatang Makabayan amendment
'Kung ano-ano inuuna,' says one netizen

The Department of Education (DepEd) has amended the Panatang Makabayan, saying this was to make it more solemn and inclusive of all religions, but many netizens questioned the move, citing pressing problems that the department should prioritize.

The DepEd, which issued the order signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Tuesday, February 14, said it made the decision “in accordance with the recommendations of various experts and linguists.”

The department said various organizations were consulted regarding the change through the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching (OUCT), including the Linguistic Society of the Philippines, the Pambansang Samahan sa Linggwistika at Literaturang Filipino, and the Language Study Center of the Philippine Normal University.

“With these consultations, OUCT recommended that nananalangin be used instead of nagdarasal primarily because the nananalangin is inherent and integral in Filipino identities as it is rooted in Tagalog,” DepEd said. 

“Likewise, it is more inclusive and appropriate as it does not refer to or specify religions, and at the same time, it encompasses indigenous belief systems,” it added.

The department further cited representatives from indigenous, Muslim, and Moro communities, who reportedly expressed their preference for the word dalangin as it is “more spiritual and universal.” 

‘Is this what DepEd has to offer?’

Many Filipinos online, however, were not having it.

Many questioned the priorities of DepEd, citing many other issues in the education sector that deserved attention. “Masabi lang na may nagawa sila. Sa dami ng dapat asikasuhin sa edukasyon, ‘yan pa ang naisip baguhin,” read one Facebook post.

The country’s education system is dealing with a multitude of issues: a learning crisis, lack of classrooms, underreported bullying, malnourished students, lack of support for teachers, and a call to review the K-12 curriculum, among others.

DepEd has also been under fire for purchasing allegedly overpriced laptops and cameras, proposing to make ROTC mandatory, and banning extracurricular activities in schools.

Several users made sarcastic comments on how amending the Panatang Makabayan would address these pressing issues.

Users also questioned the department’s use of its P710-billion budget, which includes confidential funds amounting to P150 million.

Meanwhile, other users did not see any difference between the old and new version of the Panatang Makabayan, saying nagdarasal and nananalangin are synonymous. Some users said they preferred the old version, with at least one noting that the word change “doesn’t just roll off the tongue.”

The Panatang Makabayan or Patriotic Oath, is one of the national pledges of the Philippines, together with the Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat ng Pilipinas or the Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag. These pledges are usually recited during flag ceremonies, especially in schools as mandated by Republic Act No. 8491, after singing the Philippine national anthem.

The last time the Panatang Makabayan was revised was in 2001. –

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Christa Escudero

Christa Escudero is a digital communications specialist for Rappler.