Mandatory inclusion of Moro (Filipino Muslim) history in the college curriculum has been approved by the House of Representatives on third reading on Wednesday pending establishment of the Bangsamoro Region.
House Bill (HB) 4832 or Moro History, Culture and Identity Studies Act, which mandates the inclusion of Moro History, Culture and Identity course as an elective in the higher education curriculum, is calendared for third and final reading when Congress resumes session on November 17.
Under the measure, textbooks and other reading materials on the Moros will highlight understanding of the Mindanao problem and the Moro problem, as well as the roots of the conflict there and its impact on the rest of the country, with appropriate attention to the history of the Muslims.
Mindanao in the country’s South is the traditional home of the country’s Filipino Muslim minorirty.
The reading materials will focus on Mindanao’s ideal of equality, co-existence and peculiarities of the different Moro and Lumad ethno-linguistic groups; positive relations and remembrances in history among the people of Mindanao, the Christian settlers and their descendants, the Moros, and the Lumad or indigenous highlander tribes; and identification of the common origins of the people of Mindanao and the rest of the country, as well as other commonalities before the arrival of Islam and Christianity.
Under HB 4382, the Moro curriculum will also underscore support for the broader Mindanao peace process, which addresses both the structural roots of the Mindanao conflict and the deep, social, cultural and religious cleavages there, not only of peace negotiations with rebel groups but also people-to-people peace processes such as the promotion of Muslim-Christian dialogue and a culture of peace.
The proposal aims to foster attitudes and values of peace and dialogue such as esteem, respect, honesty, sincerity, patience, generosity, graciousness, sensitivity, trust, prudence and love.
The Bangsamoro Region—expected to be established before President Benigno Aquino 3rd steps down in 2016—will be created after the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.
The basic law, a product of a peace agreement between the government and former separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front, is still being deliberated in Congress.