RA 10533 and DepEd’s Misinterpretations thru DO 31 s. 2013 & the IRRs

Subject: Your comment re DepEd and RA 10533 IRRs
From: Joe Padre (joepadre@att.net)
To: rnolasco_upmin@yahoo.com;
Cc: ched.arzadon@gmail.com; aurelioagcaoili@yahoo.com; rvaragon@gmail.com; tawidnews@yahoo.com; erroldiaryo@yahoo.com; jimmyagpaloii@yahoo.com; sherma.e.benosa@gmail.com; nelsondaligcon@gmail.com;
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 5:59 PM
DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro

DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro

Dear Rick,

Your comments re DepEd and the new IRRs for RA 10533 reinforced my suspicion about what DepEd is about to do:

“Ricardo Ma Nolasco: You may want to know what DepEd is really up to, when they approved the IRR yesterday. Focus your attention on Rule II, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4. (1) The first sentence in Rule II, 10.4 circumscribes all the other provisions. Ibig sabihin, balik na naman tayo sa discredited bilingual policy. This to me is not MTB-MLE:

“The curriculum shall develop proficiency in Filipino and English, provided that, the learners’ first and dominant language shall serve as the fundamental language of education.

Comment:  MTB-MLE under our country’s concrete conditions should promote the development of proficiency in the first language  AND the two official languages, as well as other languages of wider communication.  It appears that the formulation here in the IRR views the first language merely as bridge to learning the two official languages.

For Kindergarten and the first three years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials, and assessment shall be in the regional or native language of the learners.

Comment:  This repeats the provision of RA 10533 but its interpretation and implementation may be twisted to conform with the intention of those who inserted this provision into the law in the first place.  The earlier draft of the law carried this provision coming from those who wanted only the seven or eight regional languages with the exception of the other Philippine languages as media of learning.  Because DepEd did not want to amend this section, we insisted on the inclusion of another provision which effectively frustrates whatever sinister intention some interest groups may have had. This is the reason why another provision was eventually inserted:  “The DepEd shall formulate a mother language transition program from Grade 4 to Grade 6 so that Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction until such time when these two (2) languages can become the primary languages on instruction at the secondary level.”   The added provision clarifies that the regional or native language language of the learners is the mother tongue or first language as can be surmised from the phrase “a mother language transition program”, and not the few regional languages as the original crafters (or grafters?) of the first sentence intended. 
Let’s proceed to the next rule:

The DepEd shall formulate a mother language transition program from the mother/first language to the subsequent languages of the curriculum that is appropriate to the language capacity and needs of learners from Grade 4 to Grade 6. Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction until such time when these two (2) languages can become the primary languages of instruction at the secondary level.”

Comment:  Under the original provisions of RA 10533, the provision on the mother language transition program was clearly related to the gradual introduction of English and Filipino as languages of instruction, and the proviso “until such time that these two languages can become the primary languages of instruction at the secondary level.”  But because these two ideas were separated from each other, the original semantics appears to have changed substantially.  One can now introduce Filipino and English even before Grade 4,  provided that the gradual condition is fulfilled.  But it is safe to say our crafty adversaries recognize that there is a limit to tampering with the original provisions of the law.  If we look closely at the last sentence, it speaks of and actually retains the idea on these two languages eventually becoming the primary languages of instruction at the secondary level.  But more questions crop up: What are the requisites that have to be fulfilled before English and Filipino can become the primary languages of instruction? At what level in high school?  What do you mean by primary LOI?  Does primary LOI imply that there is a secondary or auxiliary language?  Will for instance a 60-40 instructional time for English and Ilocano in high school be substantial compliance with the primary LOI provision for high school?  

(2) Look at how the phrase “when appropriate” changes everything in this particular section, Rule II, 10.2. The original provision did not contain this phrase, to wit:

The DepEd shall adhere to the following standards and principles, when appropriate, in developing the enhanced basic education curriculum:

(3) And here’s the clincher “in accordance with national policies and standards” was added to 10.3 but the original provision also did not contain this phrase.

The production and development of locally produced teaching and learning materials shall be encouraged and approval of these materials shall devolve to the regional and division education unit in accordance with national policies and standards.

Ricardo Ma Nolasco: Narito ang orihinal na probisyon ng RA 10533 tungkol sa midyum ng pagtuturo: “For kindergarten and the first three years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials, and assessment shall be in the regional or native language of the learners. The DepEd shall formulate a mother language transition program from Grade 4 to Grade 6 so that Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction until such time when these two (2) languages can become the primary languages on instruction at the secondary level.” Ipinapahiwatig nito na ang gradual inroduction ng Filipino at Ingles ay magsisimula sa Grade 4. Sa IRR, nawala ang ganitong sense.”

The warning signals, in fact, came even earlier with DO 31 s. 2013 which was issued AFTER RA 10533 became law as highlighted in the forwarded message below. I realized right there and then that DepEd was cooking something sinister. What is it with our constitutional lawyers? We can’t even look up to them to make DepEd a little bit more honest with the interpretation of our laws? We need someone (is Makalintal good enough for this?) to check DepEd’s intended abuses of interpretation. [Another case is the way DO 34 s. 2013 twists the KWF language as if they really could come up with an “Ortograpiyang Pambansa” which is a linguistic oddity, except the alphabet part may be.]

If you expect someone, an entity or entire agency to subvert the laws or the intent of the laws, you would not expect the culprit to be the Department of Education.

Thanks for sharing your comments.

Joe Padre

—– Forwarded Message —–

From: Joe Padre <joepadre@att.net>

To: ched arzadon <ched.arzadon@gmail.com>; Aurelio Agcaoili <aurelioagcaoili@yahoo.com>

Cc: Roy Aragon <rvaragon@gmail.com>; Salvador A. Espejo <tawidnews@yahoo.com>; Errol Abrew <erroldiaryo@yahoo.com>; Jimmy Agpalo Jr <jimmyagpaloii@yahoo.com>; Sherma Benosa <sherma.e.benosa@gmail.com>; Nelson Daligcon <nelsondaligcon@gmail.com>

Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 4:19 PM

Subject: Request to Monitor Implementation of MTB-MLE provisions of RA 10533

Dear Ched and Ariel,

Today, I posted the following request in Nelson Daligcon’s Facebook:

Dear Nelson,

Kindly monitor and let me know how DepEd is going to implement RA 10533, especially that portion thereof (Section 4) that’s referenced by Paragraph 10.4 in the following IRRs (Implementing Rules and Regulations). If you read these referenced provisions here closely and try to get a sense out of them, you might find, as I do, that DepEd Order No. 31 s. 2013 CONTRAVENES the RA 10533 IRRs in that the DepEd Order directs the introduction of Filipino and English in Grades 1 and 2. I don’t care that this might be just oral Filipino or English — DepEd is supposed to start English and Filipino in Grade 4, NOT in Grade 1. In other words, since DepEd Order 31 s. 2013 was issued July 16, 2013 and the IRRs were issued Sept. 4, 2013, I’m assuming the latter should supercede and overrule DepEd Order No. 31 s. 2013. — Joe Padre


Nelson G. Daligcon likes this.

Joe Padre: I figure that your Primary School would be heavily impacted by the MTB-MLE provisions of RA 10533, hence, I know I’m coming to the right resource person being that you yourself are an accomplished writer in Ilocano. Isut’ gapuna a no adda Ilocano learning materials a na-develop wenno ma-develop to nga aramaten dagiti ubbing iti eskwelayo, sidadaan toy gayyemyo a mangipablaak kadagitoy nga Ilocano learning materials iti ania man a subject from kinder to grade three iti uppat a websites: ilocaniana.com, thelearningplace.ph, multilingualphilippines.com ken mlephil.wordpress.com. Iti pammatik, ti pannakaipablaak dagitoy nga Ilocano learning materials ti mangted napateg a gundaway tapno mausig ken mapaimbag dagitoy ket awan sabali nga agsagrap no saan a mismo dagiti ubbingtayo.

Ched & Ariel, I know that the both of you agree that the child should be given a chance to strengthen his L1 foundation hopefully with adequate doses of L1 literacy, L1 grammar, L1 Lit, and the ability to speak/compose/write in basic L1. I think you also believe in the late MT-exit. Wherefore, we do not like to dilute the child’s experiences in his L1 with an introduction of L2/L3 (no matter if it was oral L2/L3) as early as Grade 1 and Grade 2. RA 10533 specifically provides for the transitioning of L2/L3 from Grade 4 — NOT from Grade 1. Some researches have favored about 6 years of L1 to be effective. We have acquiesced to the use of L1 as MOI until grade three.

We have seen how the DepEd has watered down the implementation of well-intentioned laws before. We should remain on guard on this particularly important one.


Joe Padre

4 thoughts on “RA 10533 and DepEd’s Misinterpretations thru DO 31 s. 2013 & the IRRs

  1. Pingback: DepEd Order 31 s. 2013 & DepEd Order 31 s. 2012 Contravene MTB-MLE Provisions of RA 10533 | Multilingual Philippines

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