Baybayin Bill – House Bill no.4395
As part of a Baybayin talk I participated in last week at Guro Dan Inosanto’s Academy, the presenter (Jay Enage of Baybayin Buhayin Inc.) showed me the “Baybayin Bill” known as the “National Script Act of 2011” sponsored by Representative Leopoldo N. Bataoil.
Yes, an actual law that will require that Baybayin be taught in schools and be used in everyday life! This is something the Baybayin community has been talking and debating about for years and now it may become a reality.
Here are the bill Sections:
An act providing for the protection and conservation of Baybayin, and declaring Baybayin as the National Script of the Philippines
SECTION 1: This Act shall be known as the National Script Act of 2011
SECTION 2: It is a declared policy of the state to inculcate, propagate and preserve our cultural heritage and treasures for the evolution and development of patriotism among our citizenry. The state shall give utmost priority to the conservation and promotion of arts, letters and culture of our nation as a tool for cultural and economic development.
SECTION 3: Babayin also known as Alibata is herby declared the national script of the Philippines. The official adoption of Baybayin as the national script shall be promulgated by inscribing Baybayin in all products locally produced or processed in the Philippines. Manufactures of processed or food products shall include on the label a translation in Baybayin. The Department of Trade and Industries shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act.
SECTION 4: Baybayin shall also include in the curriculum of the elementary and secondary schools. The Department of Education shall likewise promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act.
SECTION 5: Any provision of law, decree, executive order, rule or regulation in conflict or inconsistent with the provisions and/or purposes of this Act is hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SECTION 6: This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
One item in the bill that will cause controversy is the claim that “The Baybayin scripts were culled from our giant shells, the Taklobo, in which our forefathers gathered giant pearls, that is the reason why we were called the “Pearl of the Orient”.
I sincerely applaud the mission of the bill it will certainly bring up many important points:
1) No standardization
2) What is the government cost to roll-out?
3) How will this affect businesses in an already bleeding cash?
4) Is the script name too Tagalog-centric?
5) What about other living scripts like the Mangyan, Palawaan or Kapampangan?
6) Who will teach the teachers?
7) Who will create the educational materials?
8) Who will coordinate all of this?
What do you think? Is it a good idea for the government to implement something that appears yet to have a solid foundation?
Is this something that can be compared to changing the name of the Philippines?