SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Baybayin, an ancient pre-Spanish script of the Philippines, is on its way to becoming the official national writing system thanks to a bill approved by the Committee on Basic Education and Culture.
House Bill 1022 or the proposed "National Writing System Act" is authored by Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil. The measure seeks to declare Baybayin as the Philippines’ national writing system, generating greater awareness on the plight of Baybayin and foster wider appreciation on its importance and beauty.
The bill declares there is a need to promote, protect, preserve and conserve "Baybayin"as the National Writing System of the Philippines, using it as a tool for cultural and economic development to create a consciousness, respect and pride for the legacies of Filipino cultural history, heritage and the country's authentic identity.
The bill received the support of the Department of Education (DepEd), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the advocacy group Baybayin, Buhayin.
HB 1022 shall require all manufacturers of locally produced processed food products to inscribe Baybayin scripts and their translation on the containers of labels.
It shall also mandate local government units (LGUs) to include the appropriate Baybayin in their signage for street names, public facilities, public buildings, and other necessary signage for other public service establishments like hospitals, fire and police stations, community centers and government halls.
The bill also requires newspaper and magazine publishers to include a Baybayin translation of their name in Baybayin.
Lastly, the measure shall direct the appropriate government agency to disseminate knowledge and information about Baybayin by distributing reading materials in all levels of public and private educational institutions and government and private agencies and offices.
Bataoil said that this shall instil awareness of Baybayin as the national writing system and to conduct staff trainings for the proper handling of these documents.
The NCCA is tasked to protect, preserve, and conserve Baybayin as a National Cultural Treasure.
The NCCA, together with the DepEd, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Commission on Higher Education shall formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the bill.
“The importance of writing in general and of the alphabet in particular for the preservation and progress of civilization is incalculable,” Bataoil said.
The committee is chaired by Rep. Ramon Durano VI. (CMB Engracia)