Pilar College holds dialogue with NCMF on Hijab issue PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 August 2012 13:50

The administration of Pilar College, a learning institution in this city for the past 118 years having Muslims and non-Muslims as student population invited the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to a dialogue  last August 7, 2012 to thresh out the issue regarding the wearing of Hijab among female Muslim students.

NCMF, through a message for the dialogue of Secretary Mehol K. Sadain, clearly emphasized the Philippine Constitution and other State policies governing the wearing of Hijab by female Muslim students, such as the Magna Carta of Women (R.A. No. 9710), DEPED Order No. 53, Series 2001, DOH Memo. No.
2009-0107 dated April 29, 2009 and CHED Memorandum dated August 26, 2008.

The NCMF is adopting a pro-active stance in disseminating the information to the public on the right of Muslim women more particularly on the wearing of veil or Hijab. With regard to this, the NCMF regional office has put up a ‘Hijabist Desk’, which is akin to a Women’s Desk in all police precinct, where
concerned Muslim women may file their complaints.

Meanwhile, Sr. Maria Fe Gerodias, RVM, Representative of the RVM Superior General, requested enough time to revisit their policies as it requires the proper process and consultation with all stakeholders. Also, Sr. Gerodias appealed that a moratorium in releasing information regarding the issue to the media be observed.

Acting NCMF Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Director Dennison M. Abidin, the representative of the Commission in the dialogue, readily agreed with the request of Sr. Gerodias and asked for a time-frame by which the institution can dialogue and consult all the school’s stakeholders namely; the students,
teachers, staffs, parents, alumni, all RVM Administrators in the country and their higher superiors.

A future dialogue was agreed upon by both parties to present the result of the dialogues conducted by Pilar College.

Aside from Director Abidin, other NCMF Staff who attended the meeting were: Atty. Yaser Apion, Chief of the Legal Division; Hja. Yasmin Asda, Chief of Cultural Division; Prof. Ilkhab Salahuddin, Chief of Socio-Economic Division; Pablo Pinero, Jr. Chief, Admin. Division; Ustadz Abdulquddos Jamad, Translator; Julailah Julkipli and Khalil Isser Lorena, both Legal Officer.

Pilar College was also represented by: Sr. Maria Elvira Venturina, RVM, Vice President, Administrative Affairs; Sr. Maryvic Casas, RVM/CM/CL Institutional Coordinator; Mrs Ma. Merly Avellaneda, Student Activity Coordinator; Jocelyn Loquias, Ed.D, Dean Nursing Program; Anarita Piccio, Dean BSBA Program; and Dolores Cuevas, Secretary.

Executive Assistant Amilpasa “Caloy” Bandaying represented the Office of City Mayor Celso L. Lobregat and Father Albert Alejo, SJ of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Social Development Office served as the Dialogue Facilitator.