On Nov. 22, 2011, Undersecretary Alberto T. Muyot, acting as DepEd Officer-in-Charge, issued DepEd Order No. 90 s. 2011, otherwise known as “GUIDELINES ON THE UTILIZATION OF DOWNLOADED FUNDS FOR MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MTB-MLE) PROGRAM”.
DepEd Order No. 90 s. 2011 should be a welcome step in the implemention of DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 (Institutionalizing Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education), EXCEPT for the glaring, perhaps egregious exclusion of ALL OF REGION II (BATANES, CAGAYAN, ISABELA, QUIRINO, and NUEVA VIZCAYA) from the initial List of Schools Implementing the MTB-MLE Program by Regions as per the first page of the DO #90 Enclosure:
Here’s the distribution (by region) of schools initially participating in the MTB-MLE Program:
34 – Region I (Ilocos Region; San Fernando City, La Union)
87 – Region III (Central Luzon; San Fernando City, Pampanga)
84 – REGION IV-A (CALABARZON; Calamba City, Laguna)
48 – REGION IV-B (MIMAROPA; Calapan City)
20 – REGION V (Bicol Region; Legaspi City)
36 – REGION VI (Western Visayas; Iloilo City)
31 – REGION VII (Central Visayas; Cebu City)
27 – REGION VIII (Eastern Visayas; Tacloban)
33 – REGION IX (Zamboanga Peninsula; Zamboanga City)
278 – REGION X (Northern Mindanao; Cagayan de Oro)
38 – REGION XI (Davao Region; Davao City)
49 – REGION XII (SOCCSKSARGEN; General Santos City)
66 – REGION XIII (CARAGA Region; Butuan)
60 – CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region; Baguio City)
42 – NCR (National Capital Region/Metro Manila; Manila)
21 – ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; Cotabato City)
We hope the omission of Region II is just a monumental typographical error. If not, there has to be some administrative justification and we sure would like to hear that.
From the list of schools chosen to initially participate in the MTB-MLE implementation, we also noticed an inordinately large number of schools in Tagalog/Filipino speaking areas, notably the regions NCR, CALABARZON, and parts of Region III (more than 130 schools). Now, if we consider the historical fact that DepEd started developing books, training teachers, and generally funding the whole effort to promote Tagalog, which then became Filipino, during the last 50-plus years, we surely must have amassed an enormous amount of knowledge and, yes, experience in and infrastructure for the Tagalog/Filipino speaking schools so much so that these schools should get lower or no priority in the initial MTB-MLE funding.
And as if to reenforce the perception that the powers-that-be at DepEd are in sync with the national political malaise of “to the victors belong the spoils” and “what are we in power for?”, more than 500 of the 950 or so schools initially included in the List of Schools Implementing the MTB-MLE Program are from the Visayas and Mindanao (278 schools in Region X alone) — mostly Cebuano-speaking areas. I surmise the doctrine of fairness is largely a foreign concept within the power structure of DepEd.
Will you folks at home just pay your taxes meekly and gobble this up without a squawk?