Press Release
November 6, 2023

Legarda pushes for preservation of indigenous languages

As the "Eksibit sa Nanganganib na Wika ng Pilipinas" officially opened on the second floor of the Senate building on Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the importance of preserving indigenous languages and called the staging of such exhibits an eye-opener to the public that such languages are in dire need of saving.

"Hindi lang kamalayan ang kailangan pataasin upang tugunan ang suliraning ito. Malaking hamon ito sa mga ahensya ng pamahalaan katulad ng Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) na gumawa ng mga programa na magpapasigla sa mga nanganganib na wika," Legarda said.

"Hinahamon ko rin ang mga komunidad, lalo na ang mga kasama nating elders at culture bearers na pasiglahin ang kanilang wika. Mahalagang maipasa ninyo sa susunod na henerasyon ang kanilang wika at mga kaalaman para hindi ito tuluyang mawala," she added.

The exhibit, being held in coordination with the KWF, features the Alta, Arta, and Ayta Magbukun languages spoken in Aurora, Quirino, and Bataan, respectively. It will last until November 16.

Books about the three languages, which are among 36 languages in danger of extinction, were also launched during the event.

"Ang 2022-2023 ay idineklara ng UNESCO na International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL) upang mabigyang-pansin ang kalagayan ng mga katutubong wika at mapukaw ang atensyon ng stakeholders na gumawa ng mga planong aksyon para sa preserbasyon, pagpapasigla, at promosyon ng mga katutubong wika," mentioned Legarda.

"Ang usapin hinggil sa mga nanganganib na wika ay isa sa mga isyung nangangailangan ng matinding atensyon ng mga ahensya ng pamahalaan, at maging ng mga pamayanan na nagmamay-ari ng wika," she furthered.

Arta, the language of the Arta people in Nagtipunan, Quirino, is considered "critically endangered" as only ten (10) elders could speak it fluently.

On the other hand, Ayta Magbukun is spoken among 12 communities in Bataan. It is considered a part of the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian language, which is also endangered.

Alta, also considered as Austronesian in nature, was found to have been spoken by some elders and parents in Brgy. Diteki, San Luis, Aurora.

The four-term senator has long pushed for the amendment of Republic Act 7104, creating the Commission on the Filipino Language, which deepens the recognition and preservation of the Filipino language and intensify the work of the KWF.

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https://www.lorenlegarda.com.ph/legarda-pushes-for-preservation-of-indigenous-languages/

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