Issue of September 16, 2018
Mt. Province

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RDC studies class suit on flawed textbook about CAR
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Cordillera Regional Development Council has asked the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to study the possibility of filing a class suit for civil damages against the authors of the elementary textbooks that erroneously portrayed indigenous peoples, particularly the “Igorots of the Cordillera.”

RDC-CAR chair and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the RDC members have agreed to write the NCIP during its meeting last Tuesday in Bokod, Benguet to inform the authors of the errors contained in the textbooks used in the schools.

REX Bookstore, Phoenix Publishing House, and Saint Mathews Publishing Corporation published said books.

Some of the erroneous information include ”Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan sa Ifugao na makikita sa Rehiyon ng Ilocos,” and “Ako ay si Dang, sa Baguio ako ipinanganak. Ako ay Igorot.

Another information misspelled Banaue Rice Terraces as “Banana Rice Tere-ces.”

The RDC also asked the NCIP to consider filing libel against the authors.

The council has also passed a resolution condemning the act of erroneously portraying IPs and wanted the authors to apologize for their errors.

Domogan said the Department of Education has assured that the books will not be allowed to be used, with the division superintendent having already committed to pull out the textbooks from the public schools.

For private schools, over which the government has only monitoring power and cannot impose the books to be used, Domogan said the authors or publishers will be asked to withdraw the textbooks from these schools themselves.

The DepEd last month clarified that the erroneous information about the Cordillera in the textbooks did not pass through the department’s prescribed quality evaluation process, and that the agency does not have control over private publishers that sell textbooks and supplementary learning resources, which contain culturally insensitive information. These books are also published without consultation with government authorities.

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