House committee supports Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education program

The House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, under its chairman Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, gave its support for the introduction of the K to 12 Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) program.

The Lower House meeting conducted an oversight inquiry on mother tongue languages with approved orthography under the MTB-MLE program during its hearing Thursday, October 14.

The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) gave a presentation on the local languages existing in the country including the 19 languages that have teaching and resource materials. The languages that have their own teaching and resource materials include Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, Bikol, Waray, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Magindanawon, Meranaw and Bahasa sug, among others.

KWF is the official regulating body of the Filipino language and is the official government institution charged with developing, preserving, and promoting the various local languages in the country.

The Department of Education (DepEd) during its MTB-MLE presentation showed the purpose, policies, operations and learning resource materials of the MTB-MLE. It also mentioned the production and development of contextualized learning resources and learning activity sheets for different languages.

DepEd said that they have worked with KWF to produce the MTB-MLE learning materials which will be printed next year.

Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher "Toff" De Venecia in his manifestation inquired about the production of the MTB-MLE materials and suggested the need for close synergy with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and National Book Development Board.

The committee also tackled House Bill 7621 during its meeting.

House Bill 7621 establishes a framework for funding the development and operations of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) through the annual General Appropriations Act to complement and support the development of K-12 education in the country.

The measure is principally authored by De Venecia with Manila 5th District Rep. Cristal Bagatsing, Nueva Ecija 3rd District Rep. Rosanna Vergara, San Jose Del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes and AAMBIS-OWA Partylist Rep. Sharon Garin as co-authors.

De Venecia called for more allocation to the National Museum including its regional and area museums which he said has fluctuated in favor of decreases.

NMP Director General Jeremy Barns, for his part, said that the National Museum currently operates 16 museums and they would ask for a total budget of P700 million next year for its maintenance and other operating expenses to remain in full operation. (Melvin Sarangay)