The Puerto Princesa City Council approved two resolutions Monday that support and adopt the “Ortograpiyang Cuyonon: Gia sa Pagutay-utay ig Pagsulat (Ang Ortograpiyang Cuyonon: Gabay sa Pagbabaybay at Pagsusulat)” developed by the provincial Department of Education (DepEd).
Councilor Victor S. Oliveros, chairman of the education and culture committee in the City Council, said the resolutions are their response to last week’s request letter of the Office of Tribong Cuyonon (OTC) that was sent to his office.
“Sumulat sila, ipinresent nila, this past week [ang ortograpiya],” said Oliveros.
Cuyonon representatives were invited in the council to pose their case along with the committee’s presentation of the resolutions.
Among those who went to present the Cuyonon orthography were Andrei Acosta, said to be a datu of Taytay and Cuyo, and representative of Tribong Cuyonon; Josephine Agnas Saguiped, tribal leader of Barangay Sta. Monica and its indigenous people’s mandatory representative (IPMR); Regan V. Alili, president of Gaqued Y ang mga Cuyonon, and Madrono P. Cabrestante, a Cuyonon Kita representative.
Oliveros said the first resolution pertains to the City Council’s support of DepEd’s Cuyonon Orthography version, while the second is the plenary’s adoption of its 28 set of alphabet letters.
He explained the provincial government through Ordinance No. 1795 has already adopted the same orthography prior to their approved resolutions.
“[Ang resolusyong ito ay] independent of that ordinance, pero ‘yon na rin ang naging basehan kasi probinsya na ito ang nag-ano (nag-adopt dati pa), dahil naniniwala tayo na ang probinsya ay nakakasakop sa mga munisipyo na kung saan sila ay masusi rin namang dineliberate ito at sila nga ay sa pamamagitan ng isang ordinansa,” he said.
Cabrestante of Cuyonon Kita told Palawan News they are thankful to the “City Government and City Council” for recognizing the Cuyonon alphabet with 28 letters.
Cabrestante said, “unlike the Elphick and Sohn version, their orthography truly reflects their culture.”
The Elphick and Sohn orthography was copyrighted in 2008.
The two orthographies differ mainly on the number of vowels included in their Cuyonon alphabets.
When asked about why not just combine their version to the Elphick and Sohn, Cabrestante said they have no problems as long as the 28 letters are complete.
“Actually hindi nila (Elphick and Sohn members) matanggap, ‘yon noon pa man, ayaw nilang tanggapin na ibalik. Ang posisyon naming lahat ibalik ninyo ang pinunas na mga letra, na tinatanggal ninyo, then susuportahan namin kayo, ayaw nila, kasi ‘yon ‘yong pinaka-essence, pinaka-substance ng pag-aaral nila ‘yong mga letrang ‘yon. Pag ibinalik nila ‘yong aming hiling para magkasundo, ay parang tantamount to saying na nabalewala ang research na ginawa nila,” he said.
Acosta said during the session said that their main reason for being in the City Council is to continue the printing of primers after it was halted by DepEd in July this year.
DepEd has decided to temporarily suspend the printing of grade school primers to pave way for the resolution that will determine which linguistic orthography should be used for the medium of instruction.
“Our reason for being here [is] para lang i-continue lang talaga ang printing at saka ‘yong pagtuturo ng mother tongue,” he said.
Servillano Arzaga, DepEd Palawan superintendent, in a separate interview told Palawan News Tuesday he is happy to learn about the matter which turned out positive as the City Council gave their support.
Arzaga noted it is also through Palawan News he learned about the newly approved resolutions.
“That means hindi lang ang DepEd people ang gustong matapos ang orthography na ‘yan, mismong mga local governments na po. Ang side ko ay masaya tayo na the local government are endorsing the DepEd orthography, kasi talaga namang dumaan din sa proseso,” he said.
Arzaga said while he has no official knowledge of the matter regarding the province’s adoption of DepEd’s version of orthography, he mentioned that he also heard about it before.
Arzaga mentioned they look forward to resume the printing of Cuyonon primers probably next year.
“Hindi pa kami nag-resume ng printing. Wala na kasing pera ngayon patapos na ang taon. Next year siguro ‘yan,” he added.
When asked about if the office of DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones already gave them the go-signal to continue the printing of primers, Arzaga refused to give any comment.
Arzaga also declined to state his opinion about the Elphick and Sohn version of the Cuyonon orthography.
Meanwhile, the proponents of the Cuyonon orthography Elphick and Virginia Howard Sohn version have decided not to give any and further comment at this time.
Jane Timbancaya-Urbanek, their spokesperson, said it is enough that they have already brought the matter to the office of Briones in July this year.
She said, “it is the secretary who would have the final say.”
Urbanek added “whatever the decision of the DepEd top officials will be respected by them.”
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