January 29, 2023

WAuthors of a module with Igorot slur owe an apology

This concerns one of your published stories titled, “False Igorot depictions in modules condemned.
I also learned from other news outlets and in social media that the authors, Dr. Felicidad N. Remo and Avelina S. Espelita, have falsely depicted an Igorot in the learning module with such statement: ”Ako po si Digo, isa akong Igorot na kulot ang itim kong buhok.”
Foremost, the authors seemed unaware of the purpose of learning modules for the student, which in my little learning as a high school graduate, is to convey the truth to the learners who will read it. How can students learn the truth if what is written in such learning module is not true?
Since my elementary days in three different schools – Saint Louis Boys High Baguio City, Sagada Elementary School, and Sabangan ES – I have never encountered an Igorot student or person by the name of Digo.
For the past 64 years, I never also encountered a full-blooded Igorot who has a natural curly black hair.
This means the description of an Igorot in such learning module is unwarranted while the authors and the publisher, St. Mathews Publishing Corporation, made lots of money in authoring and publishing such learning module, respectively.
The authors should return the money paid to them by the government for this erroneous module.
The Department of Education leadership should censure and/or ban the authors in participating in authoring of learning modules and books. The proofreaders of said learning materials should also be terminated from service for not doing their responsibility. The authors likewise owe the Igorots an apology.
Lastly, the Commission on Audit should conduct a special audit on how the writing of the modules was awarded to the two concerned authors and how St. Mathews Publishing Corporation was awarded the printing for the modules. — JUPITER DOMINGUEZ, Sabangan, Mountain Province

(Editors’ note: St. Mathews Publishing Corp. has claimed in a statement the book in question entitled, “Masayang Buhay (Binagong Edisyon),” authored by Dr. Felicidad N. Remo and Avelina S. Espelita published in 2001 is already out of print and is no longer in circulation. The book was likewise succeeded by three editions where corrections on the false descriptions of Igorots were made. Meanwhile, the DepEd-Cordillera, in coordination with the DepEd central office, is monitoring other learning modules containing ethnic slurs against the Igorots or other indigenous peoples groups for necessary actions).

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