Filipino historian hopes Congress to pass bills mandating instruction of World War II in senior high, college
A Filipino historian expressed hope on Wednesday that the pending bills in Congress requiring senior high school and college students to study World War II be passed into law.
Bernard Karganilla of the University of the Philippines-Manila, in a virtual forum, cited House Bill No. 5123 introduced by Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte and HB No. 5791 by Pasig City Rep. Roman Romuo and their respective co-authors.
HB 5123 mandates the instruction of reading in Philippine History II: World War II in the Philippines in Senior High School or World War II Education Act .
HB 5791 is an act mandating the instruction of Word War II in the Philippines in higher education institutions or World War II in Philippine Education Act. Both of them were filed in late 2019.
"The two bills are still alive," Karganilla said, noting that the deliberations on the bills were hampered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Karganilla said he even testified in one of the hearings.
"So, it's still under reconsideration. There's no need yet to refile," he said.
Karganilla lamented that based on his survey of the various textbooks, the "ending of (World War II) seemed to be not clear" as what were mostly discussed were about Douglas McArthur, Bataan, the bombing in Pearl Harbor, the Hukbalahap guerillas, and the "puppet Republic."
"The ending is dim. I did not see in the textbooks (General Tomoyuki) Yamashita's surrender. It's not complete," he said.
Karganilla hoped that the pending bills could be passed even if the lawmakers are more focused on climate, health, economic, and political "crises."
The Philippines will mark the Day of Valor on Friday, April 9, a regular holiday, to commemorate the heroism of the Filipinos and American troops who fought the Japanese soldiers during Word War II. Celerina Monte/DMS