THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHED) has clarified that the new General Education (GE) Curriculum, which removes Filipino and Panitikan (Filipino literature) in the list of core subjects, is not “anti-Filipino.” CHED Chairman Prospero E. De Vera III, in a statement on Wednesday, said “The accusation of critics that CHED is anti-Filipino is wrong. The Commission believes in the fundamental role played by language in education. To be properly cultivated, Filipino cannot merely be taught as a subject, but must be used in oral and written forms, across academic domains.” The curriculum, contained in CHED’s 2013 Memorandum Order 20, was given the greenlight for implementation by the Supreme Court (SC) in a decision last March. “This issue has been debated for too long and CHED calls on all sectors to respect and abide by the SC decision so that the revised curriculum for various degree programs can now be fully implemented with dispatch by the close to 2,000 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) nationwide,” Mr. De Vera said. The statement also said that “HEIs must now exercise their academic freedom to include innovative reforms in their various curricula that may include language proficiency not just in Filipino but also other Philippine languages… and Asian languages that will make graduates regionally and globally competitive.” CHED also vowed to support HEIs “that will pursue language innovation” and provide professional education assistance to affected Filipino and Panitikan teachers through the K to 12 Transition Program Fund.