Press Release
December 17, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today urged education authorities to look into reports that certain private schools have stopped the teaching of Filipino to their students in violation of an existing law on the mandatory teaching of the national language.

Pimentel said officials of individual schools have no business dong away with the teachings of Filipino and appropriate sanctions should be imposed against them by the Department of Education (DepEd) or the Commission on Higher Education for defying the law.

I am asking Education Secretary Jesli Lapus or CHED Chairman Carlito Puno to check private schools not teaching Filipino. These schools not only violate the law, they also deprive children of vital communication skills for national identity, he said.

Pimentel also said the Senate will thoroughly study House Bill 4701 which seeks to revive English as the medium of instruction in all school levels, discarding the bilingual language policy.

House Deputy Leader Eduardo Gullas case out with a statement that he has been assured by some senators of their support for the approval of the bill. Pimentel said he does not know the basis for Gullas claim that he has been assured by key senators that they would work for Senate approval of the bill restoring English as the medium of institution.

Pimentel, however, said he shares the concern of Congressman Gullas and other lawmakers about the need to upgrade the standards and methods of teaching English in order to arrest the decline in the national proficiency in the said language.

He said that students should have a good command of English as the universal language to enhance their comprehension and communication skills, as well as their competitive advantage as professionals in the global economy.

Meanwhile, Pimentel proposed the changing of the name of the Bureau of Public Libraries to the National Library of the Philippines under Senate Bill 2547.

He said a scrutiny of Republic Act 3873 entitled An Act Changing the Name of the Bureau of Public Libraries to National Library reveals that it does not identify this institution with the Philippines.

Pimentel explained that the term National Library is no longer sufficient and even misleading, especially when used in international conferences and gatherings of librarians from all over the world.

There must be an identifying element in its name that would make it distinctively Filipino, as compared to the national libraries of other countries, he said.

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