Celso seeks DepEd assurance on chabacano preservation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 June 2012 13:59

Mayor Celso Lobregat on Saturday conferred with almost a thousand public school principals, district supervisors including Grade 1 and pre-school teachers to remind about the proper implementation of the mother tongue policy in the K-12 program in Zamboanga City.

This, after the mayor strongly protested the earlier DepEd instruction on mother tongue policy that called for the division or segregation of students according to the language or dialect spoken: chabacano, tausug or bahasa, bisaya or tagalog.

Like his courageous defence of Zamboanga from inclusion in the proposed Bangsamoro Juridical Entity before various institutions including the Supreme Court in 2008, Mayor Lobregat stood firm in his advocacy to preserve chabacano and to promote unity against the DepEd segregation policy.

“We are all Zamboanguenos and we are all Filipinos”, the mayor said, emphasizing that segregating students according to language or dialect spoken is promoting divisiveness and makes the city’s advocacy on chabacano preservation and propagation, meaningless. “Here in Zamboanga we are trying to promote unity in diversity and segregating the students according to language or dialect spoken is promoting disunity”.

The mayor, without hesitation called up Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro to express disappointment over the DepEd segregation policy in the K-12 program which was implemented only in Zamboanga City effective June 4, the first day of classes.

The mayor described the policy as totally unacceptable and threatened to withdraw all support and assistance to the DepEd if the segregation policy is not revised or disregarded. 

Secretary Luistro acceded to Mayor Lobregat’s stand and immediately ordered Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano, who is in charge of the K-12 program, to come to Zamboanga June 16 to confer with local DepEd officials, K-12 teachers and Mayor Lobregat on the decision to undo or nullify the segregation policy. 

The meeting at the City Coliseum Saturday, also attended by Councilors Rudy Lim, Myra Paz Abubakar and Percival Ramos, City Social Welfare Officer Francisco Barredo and City Schools OIC Superintendent Pedro Melchor Natividad, coincided with the city’s celebration of Dia de Fundacion Chabacano which marks the day when chabacano first came into being on June 23, 1635 with the laying of the first cornerstone at Fort Pilar.

Mayor Lobregat elucidated on his firm stand on chabacano preservation, conservation and propagation and reminded the teachers and the principals and district supervisors about their obligation and responsibility to help promote unity. He likewise discussed about the proper implementation of the mother-tongue policy.

And to really send his message across, the mayor distributed copies of the city-government produced “El Primer Alfabeto Chabacano” authored by Prof. Bert Torres and copies of the chabacano dictionary to each of the supervisors, principals and teachers for use in the mother-tongue program.

He stressed that the city government will remain firm in its advocacy to preserve, conserve and propagate chabacano and will do everything possible to stop  anything that tends to contradict this program.

And just to make sure that the segregation policy has been remedied, the mayor has assigned 3 of his executive assistants to monitor each and every public school in the city in the implementation of the mother tongue policy in the K-12 program. — Sheila Covarrubias