Legarda pushes for Moro history subject in college

September 8, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – With Congress aiming to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before October 10, Senator Loren Legarda reminded the public about another measure that will allow Filipinos to better understand the Moro people.

Senate Bill 2685 mandates the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to include the subject “Moro History, Culture, and Identity Studies” as an elective in the country’s higher education curriculum – a move that, according to Legarda, will promote national unity.

“The goal of this measure is to provide the youth a broader perspective of their past, reinforcing Filipino identity,” the senator said in a statement Tuesday, September 8.

She added: “It also aims to provide deeper knowledge and understanding of the centuries-long historical and cultural heritage of both the Moro people and the indigenous peoples or what we call the Lumads in Mindanao.”

In crafting the college course and other learning materials, CHED must consult with recognized experts on Moro history, culture, and identity, as well as recognized resource persons on the Mindanao peace process and the Muslim-Christian dialogue.

Aside from supporting the peace process, the course will provide students a better understanding of the history of Muslims in the Philippines, as well as the roots of the “Mindanao problem,” the “Moro problem,” and how the conflict impacts the rest of the country.

It will also look into the positive relations of the Moros with Christian settlers and the Lumad or indigenous highlander tribes in Mindanao, appreciating their commonalities, their differences in cultures and identities, and the ideal of their equality, co-existence, and unity.

“The history of the Bangsamoro people forms part of the backbone of the historical development of our country. It is about time that we recognize the rightful place of the history and identity of the Bangsamoro in the fabric of our national history,” Legarda said.

Meanwhile, at the House of Representatives, a similar bill introduced by Lanao Del Sur 2nd District Representative Pangalian Balindong was already approved on third and final reading last October 2014 and transmitted to the Senate a month after.

Source: Rappler