As the nation celebrates the 137th birth anniversary of former President Manuel Quezon, Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian urged President Benigno Aquino III to declare Filipino as the standard working language in all government offices.
Gatchalian, who represents the 1st District of Valenzuela City, said the current administration must unite the three main branches of the government in declaring Filipino as the official primary language in all public activities and transactions during his talk at the Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLTCFI) at Legazpi City, Albay last August 7.
The lawmaker said such move will further boost the country’s current economic progress, help strengthen the spirit of nationalism among Filipinos, and contribute in the development of our nation’s cultural wealth.
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“Walang duda na kailangang pangunahan ng Punong Ehekutibo ang pagpapayaman sa wikang Filipino na mangyayari lang kung magkakaisa ang tatlong sangay ng pamahalaan – Ehekutibo, Lehislatura at Hudikatura – na gamitin ang Filipino nilang opisyal na lenggwahe,” said Gatchalian, who is a member of the House Committee on Local Government.
“Ito lamang ang nakikita kong paraan para mapagyaman at mapalaganap natin ang Filipino. Kung mangyayari ito ay sigurado kong kasunod na nito ang pambansang kaunlaran,” he added.
To accomplish such feat, Gatchalian said the current administration must start in following the example of former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who earlier issued a Supreme Court (SC) directive declaring Filipino as the primary working language in several regional trial courts in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, and in Metro Manila.
“Kung kayang gawin ito ng Korte Suprema, puwede rin itong sundan ng Ehekutibo at Lehislatura sa pamamagitan ng paggamit sa wikang Filipino sa opisyal na koresponsal at maging sa paghahain ng mga panukalang batas na sa kasalukuyan ay sa wikang Ingles pa rin,” he explained.
Despite the establishment of Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) by virtue of Republic Act no. 7104 on 1991, Gatchalian expressed disappointment over government’s lack of effort to fully standardize the use of the national language in public offices.
Citing statistics from 2007, the legislator noted that only 28 million Filipinos treat Filipino, which is based on Tagalog, as their first language; while 45 million Filipinos speak Filipino as their second language.
“Ibig sabihin pangunahing wika pa rin ng 45 milyong Pilipino ang kani-kanilang diyalekto na umaabot sa 185 (na diyalekto) sa buong Pilipinas,” he explained.
If the current administration will be able to make our mother tongue as the standard working language, Gatchalian said it would help promote the usage of the national language, which can further unify Filipinos from different areas and solve the inimical effects of regional diversity in the country.
The legislator added it will help Philippines follow the economic development of other countries, which are currently using their mother tongue as their primary working language, including the United States, Japan, China, France, and Germany. (Tim Alcantara)