Final House nod given to bill integrating PH World War II history in college curriculum

The lower chamber has approved on third and final reading a measure mandating higher education institutions or HEIs to integrate a comprehensive study of Philippine history during World War II into their respective curriculum.

Battle of Manila (Wikipedia)

With a nominal voting result of 275-0-0 (yes-no-abstain), House Bill (HB) No.5719 is now ready for transmittal from the House of Representatives to the Senate.

"The State shall put in place a mechanism that shall highlight the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country and thus educate the youth on the values of patriotism and nationalism and preserve for posterity the stories on the great struggle and heroism of Filipino soldiers who fought the Japanese occupational forces during the war,” HB No.5719 read.

“A comprehensive study of Philippine history during World War II shall be integrated into and shall cover a reasonable percentage of the mandatory Philippine History subject being offered under the general education curriculum in higher education courses of all higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country,” it added.

The Philippines was a key player in World War II, particularly in the "Pacific theater" of the conflict.

The measure was a consolidation of HB Nos.933 and 4157, which were filed by Pasig lone district Rep. Roman Romulo and Northern Samar 2nd district Rep. Harris Christopher Ongchuan, respectively.

If enacted, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be tasked to develop, in close collaboration with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office-Department of National Defense (PVAO-DND), “a program to execute and implement the provisions of this Act".

“Within one hundred eighty (180) days from the effectivity of this Act, the CHED shall, in coordination with the NHCP and the PVAO-DND, formulate and issue the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Act,” the measure said.

In the performance of their task, the CHED, NHCP and the PVAO-DND are allowed to seek the help of resource persons such as prominent historians, history professors, members of historical associations, college or university presidents or administrators, as well as faculty members and students.

It also encouraged all HEIs “to keep in their libraries adequate books, resources, and reference materials on World War II as it transpired in the Philippines".