THE House committee on basic education and culture has approved a measure seeking to declare as the national writing system the Baybayin, a pre-Hispanic writing system in the country.

House Bill 1022, or the proposed "National Writing System Act," principally authored by Pangasinan Representative Leopoldo Bataoil, seeks to foster appreciation for the Baybayin.

The bill requires all manufacturers of locally produced processed food products to inscribe Baybayin scripts and their translation on the labels of their products.

All local government units (LGUs) are also mandated under the bill to include the appropriate Baybayin in the signage for street names, public facilities, public buildings, hospitals, fire stations, police stations, community centers and government halls.

Newspaper and magazine publishers are also required to include a translation of their name in Baybayin.

“The importance of writing in general and of the alphabet in particular for the preservation and progress of civilization is incalculable,” Bataoil said in the explanatory note of his bill.

The bill is backed by the Department of Education, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and an advocacy group called Baybayin, Buhayin. (SunStar Philippines)