Kudos to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for FINALLY junking Tagalog!

Long overdue! The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) memo directing the removal of Tagalog (a.k.a. “Filipino”) as a mandatory subject in the Philippines’ General Education Curriculum (GEC) effectively frees millions of Filipinos from wasting time on a dead-end field of learning. On implementation of the directive, the subject will be relegated to Grades 11 and 12 of the K-12 curriculum.

The CHED, it seems, applied the right thinking in making this move…

The CHED justified its removal of college-level Filipino by saying that the subject would be covered in Grades 11 and 12 under the new K-12 curriculum. “Hangga’t maari, pagdating mo sa college, mga major subjects na lang,” explained CHED Executive Director Julito Vitriolo.

[NB: Translation of Tagalog parts of the above excerpt: “As much as possible, time spent in college must be accounted for by major subjects.”]

The Philippines' Tagalog tribes' command over the national language is slipping.
The Philippines’ Tagalog tribes’ command over the national language is slipping.
Way back in 2000 in GRP’s infancy, I had already strongly advocated removal of Tagalog as a mandatory part of Filipinos’ education. The business case simply does not stack up. For the amount of scarce educational resources the imparting of Tagalog proficiency in the Filipino takes up, the language presents no added value to a person’s marketability in an increasingly competitive race for scarce employment. Suffice to say, most of the plum jobs are reserved for the best English communicators.

Much of the arguments against the CHED memo being fielded by various stakeholders revolve around an appeal to tradition, “national identity”, and the fate of the jobs of up to 30,000 professors who make a living teaching Tagalog.

These really are all non-issues disguised as, well, issues. With the jobs thing, it really just comes down to the same argument one would encounter if we were to replace the Philippines’ decrepit public transport infrastructure with modern public bus and train services. Hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers will lose their jobs. But the benefit as a whole over the long run will far compensate for that minor hitch. Same banana. If you want to build a new building on a piece of land, you need to detonate the old structure standing on it.

As to the cultural heritage and “national identity” thing, well, both of those can’t really be served on a banana leaf to a hungry Filipino and her eight kids. Putting that in Tagalog will make that simple concept resonate more strongly:

Di yan nakakain.

There you go, Tagalog has its uses — mainly when one is communicating with other Tagalog speakers. The thing is, most of the people who comprise the organisations and entities that control the capital Filipinos are desperately dependent on for their daily bread aren’t Tagalog speakers. So the fate of Tagalog as a resource-guzzling part of the Philippines’ education system can be decided using simple business sense. The numbers simply don’t stack up.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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46 Comments on "Kudos to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for FINALLY junking Tagalog!"

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John Nieurzyla

The analogy to the jeepney drivers is false, yes if they were replaced, then who will be the new drivers? these will be the old drivers, those that failed to learn and pass the driving tests, well lets hope they will start do that??? also the new vehicles will still need to be maintained, so their is plenty work.

Robert Haighton
Dear Benign0, In almost all cases I do agree with your Blogs. But on this occassion I do not agree with you. I am just projecting your statement on my own country and it wont be accepted here for sure. If I translate your statement, it looks like I have to talk English in my own home with my own Dutch sisters, Dutch friends and who not. By itself that looks ridiculous & bizarre. On a bigger global scale, I am all for it to both educate one’s mother tongue (language) and at least one foreign language. In my country,… Read more »
Peace Walker
But this means it still has to be taught at the elementary and secondary level, correct? I’ve read studies on that children who pack decent starting vernacular at young learning age tend to do better in learning and academics than those who were used to local vernacular than those who are made to outright jump into English without some competency in local vernacular by miles. They all had a conmon rationale: local language, like say, Tagalog, can be bridged by English to the higher learning fields. What can be translated sensibly from the fields for backwards compatibility with local languages… Read more »
Thom Hardy

I’ve never attempted to learn either of the Filipino languages. They seemed as if made up by children.I mean, WTF does UMMA-LAY-LAY even mean? and,OMG, why wouldn’t any person who says that word not feel like an idiot?
Make Spanish or English the national language and it would be a step up internationally.


Actually, they should make it so that Pilipino, English, Algebra, Trigonometry, Chemistry, English,and Theology (when applicable) should be done when you finish high school. Along with Spanish, these are time consuming general subjects we had to take in college which we should have been taught already beforehand.

Toro Hyden

Tagalog can be taught in Elementary ang high School. On the College level; foreign languages should be offered as Electives, like: Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, Arabic, etc…

It is good to learn and know several foreign languages…it is a plus on your resume…

While I’m not sure the language should totally go the way Latin did, one can’t deny the limiting use of Tagalog. As it is now, a sentence can’t be done without two or three borrowed words in English which makes it redundant in academia. Somehow you gotta address the technical jargon but there really is no equivalent to it in Tagalog so the English term just ends up jammed in between the local vernacular. Nevermind the fact that reading tagalog online is cringey no matter who wrote it. Add the fact that it just doesn’t sound pleasing to the ear.… Read more »

Finally! If only I was still a student. Back then in grade school they had us study Philippine history in Tagalog and I didn’t get it. One day I gave up and just read Agoncillo’s History of the Filipino People and I finally understood it.


How about next they dump the general, irrelevant subjects from university courses so students have more time to devote to their actual majors? Not having to waste time on art or Filipino literature units when you’re studying a science, for example.

College here looks more like high school and doesn’t seem designed to produce specialists, but rather uncompetitive all-rounders.


I’m not happy about this but as long as they still teach Tagalog, or any of the local dialects, in elementary and high school then sure.

Though still Taglish isn’t really Tagalog so there.

and dang, all the hate I’m seeing from the comments is just bothersome. Guess it never matter to a country with no sense of identity as long as ends meet.

Henry Delgado

It’s just so pathetic to assume that to be globally competitive, we need to be fluent in English.

Philippines has too many English-speakers & can’t speak Tagalog fluently but are so stupid.

Caesar Anthony E. Yoma
Caesar Anthony E. Yoma
Sir, in terms of profession and economic advantages, I’m all in for proficiency in English. We need to, it is a life-skill, a necessity to compete in the global stage. But to say that we Filipinos no longer need to study OUR OWN LANGUAGE because it doesn’t stack up is tantamount to belligerence to being Filipino. It is not only a spoken language, it represents our very identity, our pedigree: the culture, literature, our history, our humble beginning as a nation, of familial ties and pride rooted in being particularly someone in this world. We have to perceive our own… Read more »

This is good news. When I was still studying, Pilipino subject is where we waste time writing on the notebooks while copying from any Tagalog books. Meaning, just to get the time pass by. Tagalog subjects are really not that important. Our teachers will just let us sit on our desk and pretend she is teaching and pretend that we are reading.


hindi naman siguro dapat alisin ang Filipino subject sa kolehiyo dahil hindi naman lahat ayaw nito.. kung tatanggalin ito para narin tinaggal ang karapatan ng lahat ng Pilipino na namulat at nakagisnan na ang pag gamit nito. para narin tinanggal nito ang karapatan ng Pilipino na matuto at i.preserba ang sariling atin.. dapat parin itong ituro sa kolehiyo dahil kung tutuusin mas tinatangkilik na ng mga Pilipino ang Ingles at iba pang akademikong aralin. kaya hindi dapit tanggalin ang pagtuturo ng Pilipino sa Kolehiyo.


From what I understood way back my teacher in grade school once said, “Filipino is a subject that deals with the local dialect.” Now I wonder why it was always “Tagalog” Now what about Kapangpangan, Bisaya, Ilongo, Ilocano and all sorts of dialects why aren’t those guys who are talking about cultural identity not even mentioning about learning them? Where’s your national pride? What I am just saying is there is enough time to learn all that crap in high school. College should prepare students for real life.

Tugas Haligi

I was born, raised, and trained in the Philippines. I speak Cebuano and English but not Tagalog. By the definition of these “nationalists” I’m not Filipino enough. WTF?

Tariq Aziz

what makes Filipino difficult for non-tagalogs is that, it disguised as “Filipino” when in fact it is Tagalog. What if we require Tagalogs to take Bicol language in college? What would they do? what would they feel? Regionalism is an issue in building a true national language.


Fact: The Failippines is the most ethnolinguistically homogenous country in the world. It has only 1 indigenous ethnolinguistic group, and only 1 indigenous language.

“I am a Tangalogista Fliptard. The K.W.F. is my favourite God. I migrated here so I could linguicide your language.”

mark tan

if you don’t learn tagalog it’s no big deal, but if you don’t learn english you’re screwed for life.


Tagalog tribes? when was the last time a Tagalog ruled the country?