Supreme Court affirms ruling on Filipino, Panitikan

May 26, 2019
Supreme Court

THE Supreme Court has ruled with finality that Filipino and Panitikan (Philippine Literature) can be excluded as core subjects in college.

The SC stood pat on its after the petitioners failed to present new arguments to necessitate a reversal of its ruling issued last October 9.

“No further pleadings or motions shall be entertained in this case. Let entry of final judgment be issued immediately,” the resolution read.

In its October decision, the SC ruled as valid the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) memorandum that reduced the general education (GE) curriculum to a minimum of 36 units, and that CHEd’s Memorandum Order No. 20 Series of 2013 which considered Filipino and Panitikan as no longer core subjects.

In its motion for reconsideration, the Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino claimed that the Constitution required the inclusion of Filipino and Panitikan in the curriculum in all levels, thus CHEd MO no. 20, Series of 2013 was unconstitutional.

Another petitioner, Ma. Dolores Brillantes, insisted that adding two years of senior high school is arbitrary and oppressive as it failed to consider the needs of students of science high schools, who have higher mental capabilities.

But the SC pointed out that while the Constitution mandates the inclusion of the study of the Constitution, Filipino and Panitikan in the curriculum of educational institutions, “the mandate was general and did not specify the educational level in which it must be taught.”

“CMO 20 did not violate the Constitution when it merely transferred these subjects as part of the curriculum of primary and secondary education,” the ruling added.

“It does not limit the academic freedom of universities and colleges to require additional courses in Filipino, Panitikan and the Constitution in their respective curricula,” the SC said.

The SC also mentioned that the K-12 law, as a police power measure, is intended to promote the interest of the public and not only of a particular class.

“It is also erroneous for petitioners to assume that the K-12 law does not serve the interest of the students of science high schools. In fact, the K-12 law explicitly recognized the right of schools to modify their curricula subject, of course, to the minimum standards prescribed by (the Department of Education). The K-12 (Implementing Rules and Regulations) further confirmed the inclusiveness of the design of the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum by mandating the inclusion of programs for the gifted and talented and allowing acceleration of learners in public and private educational institutions,” the SC added.