Bill including Moro history in curriculum OK’d
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - October 12, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The House committee on higher and technical education has endorsed a bill that seeks to include Moro history, culture and identity studies as an elective subject in the college curriculum.

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, committee chairman, said the approval by his panel of Bill 4832 is very timely in view of the administration’s efforts to attain peace in Mindanao through the establishment of a Bangsamoro regional entity.

He said including a Moro-related subject in the higher education curriculum “will encourage appreciation of the contributions of the Moro people to the country’s history.”

The bill, authored by Lanao del Sur congressman and Deputy Speaker Pangalian Balindong, mandates all colleges and universities to offer Moro history, culture and identity studies as an elective subject, highlighting the positive relations between Muslims and Christians, including shared origins and other points of commonality even before the arrival of Islam and Christianity.

“While Filipino and Muslim cultures may have differences, it is a fact that they are bound by a common heritage, the land they call the Philippines, and they have a lot in common, on top of which is the clamor for peace,” he said.

Under the measure, agencies concerned would consult recognized experts on Moro history, culture and identity as well as recognized resource persons on the Mindanao peace process and Muslim-Christian dialogue in the formulation and creation of the Moro history elective, including the writing, printing and publication of textbooks and other reading materials.

The proposed elective will include the understanding of the “Mindanao problem” and the “Moro problem” as well as the roots of the conflict and its impact on the rest of the country, with appropriate attention to the history of the Muslims and the appreciation of the various cultures and ethnic identities, Balindong said.

Also included is the specific character of Mindanao as an island, including the peculiarities of the different Moro and Lumad ethno-linguistic groups, and historical interactions among the people of Mindanao, Christian settlers and their descendants, the Moros or Muslims, and the Lumads or indigenous highlander tribes, he said.

“The broader Mindanao peace process addresses both the structural roots of the Mindanao conflict and the deep social, cultural and religious divergences, which should not be disregarded but respected,” he said.

He added that people-to-people interactions and dialogues should help foster important basic values – respect, honesty, sincerity, patience, generosity, trust, prudence and love, among others.

The other authors of the bill include Evelina Escudero of Sorsogon, Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, Karlo Nograles of Davao City, and Eulogio Magsaysay of Alliance of Volunteer Educators. 

DEPUTY SPEAKER PANGALIAN BALINDONG EULOGIO MAGSAYSAY OF ALLIANCE OF VOLUNTEER EDUCATORS EVELINA ESCUDERO OF SORSOGON ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY KARLO NOGRALES OF DAVAO CITY MINDANAO MORO MORO AND LUMAD MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS ORO CITY
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