Senator Robinhood Padilla is considering restoring the Philippine history high school curriculum, saying it will guide young people in shaping the country and the people.

Padilla filed Senate Bill 451 calling for the education of Philippine history to “help young people understand how the society we live in has come into being through time.”

“To lead this nation into the future would require an understanding of the country’s historical roots and cultural heritage, ideally at all levels of formal education,” the actor-turned-politician said.

The subject of Philippine history was removed from the secondary school curriculum in 2014 by Order No. 20 of the Ministry of Education.

Padilla noted that the K-12 core curriculum for social studies includes subjects such as Asian studies and world history.

“While proponents of this revised program claim that ‘discussion of events in the country’s history is naturally embedded in several subjects’, this representation is of the firm belief that there must be an independent and definitive subject which comprehensively focuses on the study of our own nation’s history,” he said.

“It is truly unfortunate for our youth, whom we consider the hope and future of our nation, to be deprived of the opportunity to peruse the books of our precious past,” he added.

Under the bill, the history of the Philippines would be designed to instill a sense of patriotism, to include the history, culture and identity of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples.

The bill also aims to generate “critical reflection and discourse” on the effects and relevance of Filipino historical events, people and movements for the present – and to understand the roots of Filipinos based on facts and a strong historical tradition, patriotism and identity as a nation.

“Let’s not forget the old adage that denying and obliterating people in their own understanding of their history is the most effective way to destroy them. In the hope of this representation averting such peril, passage of this bill is strongly sought,” Padilla said.

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