Choosing and Adopting a Primary Language Soon

Subli

IF I WERE THE NEXT PRESIDENT (Part 7 of a series)

By BEN R. PUNONGBAYAN

Founder, Buklod National Political Party

The Philippines is one of the probably very few countries in the world that do not speak a primary language on a national scale. This situation, unfortunately, has grave disadvantages, more directly in political and educational developments and, hence, ultimately in economic development.

By primary, I mean the language that is commonly used in speaking and writing in practically all situations such as, in government, business, schools and even at home and other informal occasions. A primary language becomes necessary in uniting the people when there is a concurrent presence and use of several languages in a country. Call it “lingua franca”, if you will.

Geographically, at present, the regional languages predominate in day-to-day conversation—at home and in informal gatherings. But these languages are rarely used in public writing, except…

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