Senator seeks Filipino translation of Maharlika bill, related docs for the benefit of ordinary citizens

To make sure ordinary Filipinos understand the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund Act, Senator  Robinhood "Robin" C. Padilla pushed for a Filipino translation of the measure and its related documents.

Padilla, an advocate for the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication, made the proposal during the period of amendments on the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill at the Senate early Wednesday.

Senator. Mark Villar, the bill's sponsor and chairman of the Senate banks committee, accepted Padilla's proposal.

"Magmula kaninang umaga, marami na po tayong kababayang nandiyan sa labas at sila nagpoprotesta at sa kanila pong sinasabi hindi nila naintindihan ang atin pong panukala na Maharlika bill. Kanina din pong tanghali meron tayong bisitang barangay captain. Nang sinabi po natin sa kanila tungkol sa Maharlika bill na ito, ating panukala, sila po ay (nagsabi), di namin naintindihan yan (Since Tuesday morning, I saw many people outside the Senate protesting that they do not understand the contents of the bill. At noon Tuesday, I met with barangay captains who also said they did not understand it)," he said.

He also cited Sec. 6, Art. 14 of the 1987 Constitution that states that the government "shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.”

Padilla's proposed amendment to the bill's section on the right to freedom of information of the public said: "All documents of the MIF (Maharlika Investment Fund) and MIC (Maharlika Investment Corp.) shall be open, available and accessible to the public in both English and Filipino.”

Another amendment proposed by Padilla on the effectivity of the act, which Villar also accepted, would have the Filipino translation of the Act published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.