Shortsighted and arrogant move | Inquirer Opinion

Shortsighted and arrogant move

/ 04:10 AM August 16, 2022

The banning of “subversive” and “anti-government” books by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is a shortsighted and arrogant move.

The World Bank recently reported that learning poverty in the country is at 90 percent; meaning, 90 percent of Filipino children are unable to read by age 10. Those in the field of education, including the academics within KWF, should be more alarmed by this, rather than the production of books that may not be congruent to their taste or thinking.


Now is an opportune time to recall the events in the late 1900s as we are about to celebrate National Heroes’ Day. Back then, those who questioned or did not comply with the demands of government authorities were tortured, imprisoned, and/or killed. Some were dispossessed of their properties and many, of their kins. These demands included the personal desires of those in power.

Suppressive measures taken by the government included the ban on the distribution of novels by Jose Rizal, which portrayed the plight of ordinary people in an unjust society. It also banned the works of the other propagandists, which exposed the greed of those in power, corruption of government officials, and how it keeps the country in its moribund state.


Indeed, these censored readings enlightened the locals about their realities. However, the 1896 revolution led by Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan was not waged because people read the banned materials. The people joined and supported the armed revolution because of the objective conditions in the sociopolitical and economic realm of the country and the people.

Julie L. Po,

Linangan ng Kulturang Pilipino

[email protected]

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