House speaker: Baybayin ‘revival’ instrumental for PHL’s resurgence


PROMOTING and preserving indigenous and traditional writing systems would help in the country’s resurgence.

This is according to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who hailed on February 1 the third reading approval of the bill seeking to promote, protect and preserve baybayin as well as other Philippine indigenous and traditional writing systems as part of the country’s cultural treasures.

The House of Representatives voted to approve on final reading House Bill 10657, or the proposed “Philippine Indigenous and Traditional Writing Systems Act” with 197 affirmative votes.

“Lost, but not forgotten: Baybayin, together with other indigenous and traditional writing scripts, should be preserved and promoted as part of the country’s resurgence,” Velasco said in a statement.

He explained that baybayin is an ancient syllabary script, which means “to spell,” and noted that it is one of at least 16 different writing systems that were used by early Filipinos prior to the Spanish era.

“It is time for our country to revisit our past through one of its cultural remnants, our indigenous and traditional writing systems, including the [said] pre-colonial writing system…” Velasco averred.

The house speaker acknowledged baybayin and other indigenous writing scripts as representations of Filipino tradition and national identity.

“There is a need to promote, protect, preserve and conserve Philippine indigenous and traditional systems as tools for cultural development, for instilling national pride, [as well as] for protecting Filipino cultural heritage and identity,” Velasco said.

He added that promotion and preservation of these writing systems are a must in order to “generate greater awareness of indigenous and traditional scripts and to foster a wider appreciation of their significance and beauty.”

The bill seeks to require the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education to include writing systems in relevant subjects of basic and curricula, as well as to create an elective or specialized course in higher education.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts shall be the lead policy-making unit for the promotion of Philippine Indigenous and Traditional Writing Systems.

The bill also aims to promote and preserve indigenous and traditional writing systems by creating and supporting activities that promote awareness of such, mainly during “Buwan ng Wika” (Language Month), as well as similar occasions and events.

Other measures to promote and preserve these writing systems could be done through the conduct of seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia, as well as a good record-keeping of relevant documents and the preservation of oral evidence on these writing systems.


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