Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan (right) of the Commission on Higher Education discusses during a news conference Wednesday at the CHED Office in Quezon City the Students' Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation, a most exciting part of the government's student assistance program as it directly benefits students of the poorest families. The SGP-PA, with an allocation of P500M, is administered by CHED for State Universities and Colleges in support of the reform agenda for public higher education. Also in photo is Social Welfare Secretary Corazon J. Soliman.  (MNS photo)

Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan (right) of the Commission on Higher Education discusses during a news conference Wednesday at the CHED Office in Quezon City the Students’ Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation, a most exciting part of the government’s student assistance program as it directly benefits students of the poorest families. The SGP-PA, with an allocation of P500M, is administered by CHED for State Universities and Colleges in support of the reform agenda for public higher education. Also in photo is Social Welfare Secretary Corazon J. Soliman. (MNS photo)

BAGUIO CITY (Mabuhay) – Filipino and Literature subjects will continue to be taught in college for now, despite the controversial Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 that paved way for the K to 12 Program.

This, after the Supreme Court issued a tEmporary restraining order against Commission on Higher Education/CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20, Series of 2013 that abolishes mandatory subjects in the current curriculum in tertiary education, such as Filipino language, Literature, and Philippine Government & Constitution.

“The court granted the prayer… and without necessarily giving due course to the petition, issued a TRO effective immediately and continuing until further orders from court,” said SC Public Information Office chief and spokesman Theodore Te.

The TRO stemmed from a petition filed by a group of universiry professors who alleged that the CHED memo order, which they described as “anti-Filipino,” will cause massive labor displacement – job losses of around 78,000 workers – at the tertiary level.

The petitioners argued that the CMO violates 5 constitutional provisions, including provisions on the national language, Philippine culture, nationalist education, and labor policy.

The group said the program disregards the 1987 Constitution’s emphasis on nationalism and cultural awareness as core values of Philippine education, and the Constitution’s pro-labor provisions.

“(The CHED memo order) does not comply with the law’s provision on a nationalist-oriented general education curriculum in college, as it abolishes subjects that are vital in promoting national identity, indigenous culture, and responsible citizenship – such as Filipino Language, Literature, and Philippine Government & Constitution,” the group said.

The petitioners claimed they were never consulted in the crafting of the assailed CMO.

The group said the CMO particularly violated Republic Act 7104 (Organic Act of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino/KWF/Commission on the Filipino Language), Republic Act No. 232 (Education Act of 1982), and Republic Act No. 7356 (Organic Act of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts).

Among the professors were from the University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University, the De La Salle University, and the University of Santo Tomas.

Other professors supporting the petition were from the Philippine Normal University (PNU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Pamantasang Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar), Pamantasang Lungsod ng Pasig (PLP), Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU), University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), San Beda College, University of the East (UE), Far Eastern University (FEU), and Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST)

The rest of the petitioners included National Artist for Literature and UP Professor Emeritus, Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio “Tonchi” Tinio, Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.

RA 10533 also gave birth to the controversial K-12 Program that added two more years in high school education.

A first petition against the K-12 Program was filed by a group of teachers and school staff last March. (MNS)