KWF: Proofreader’s overenthusiasm
This concerns the news article written by Jerry Esplanada (“Language body hit for text tampering,” News, 9/13/13) accusing the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) of “tampering” with the official message specifically of the Civil Service Commission and those of other agencies, apparently as printed in the souvenir program for the celebration of the Buwan ng Wika last month.
Firstly, we would like to note that the KWF is not in the habit of tampering with official or other documents, as Esplanada is seemingly in the habit of accusing us. And that is, if we go by the Oxford definition of the word, “tamper,” which is “to interfere with something in order to cause damage,” or “to exert a secret or corrupt influence upon (someone).”
As far as we are concerned, we at KWF take our mandate to heart, that is why we have been undertaking very specific programs and projects almost double-time. Among these was the recently concluded Pambansang Kongreso sa Wika. This is the first ever gathering of language experts, teachers, writers and other lovers of language from all over the Philippines to discuss very important language issues. No previous KWF leadership has mustered such a historic assembly.
And yet, Esplanada seems to have missed or ignored our congress and focused his reportorial time and skills on possible lapses in the proofreading of our souvenir program text and, on that lone basis, has accused us of “tampering.”
It is in further execution of its mandate that KWF is also currently campaigning to disseminate the Ortograpiyang Pambansa (Orthography of the National Language). On the basis of such Ortograpiya, it is possible that some overenthusiastic proofreader from the KWF introduced the changes in spelling, even if there were express instructions from the KWF chair not to interfere with official communications.
Notwithstanding, we express our apologies to the concerned agencies and will send our due explanations and regrets internally. We will also plead with them to indulge our putative overenthusiastic proofreader who may have passionately believed in the wisdom of the language reform we are now undertaking. Moreover, we sincerely believe that Filipino and the other native languages of the Philippines need the Ortograpiyang Pambansa which, if Esplanada would allow us, we would like to explain and present to him personally at his convenience.
—VIRGILIO S. ALMARIO, chair, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
This letter, received in September, was used in a news story, but we are running it as is for the record.—Eds.
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