Just before the start of the Buwan ng Wika on Aug. 1, Sen. Robinhood Padilla stressed that the public should promote the Filipino language in their day-to-day lives, not just in August.
"Ang pambansang wika ay para sa lahat ng Pilipino. Dahil dito, dapat bida ang wikang Filipino sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay, hindi lang sa Agosto," the neophyte senator said on Sunday, July 31.
He then made a reference to Article 14, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution, saying, "Mismong Saligang Batas ang nagsasabi na ang pambansang wika natin ay Filipino. Ayon sa Art. XIV, Sec. 6, Filipino ang pambansang wika ng Pilipinas."
Padilla earlier attracted attention on social media when he admitted that he could not keep up with plenary debates because he experienced some difficulty in engaging in discussions in English, which led him to merely read about what was deliberated in the Senate journal the next day.
"Nahihirapan lang ako pag nag-e-Englishan na, medyo ‘pwede dahan-dahan lang?’ Gano’n. Kaya mahalaga ‘yung journal eh, kaya binabasa ko ‘yung journal kasi nandun lahat eh, mahalaga ‘yun. Nakatunganga ako. Tango-tango. Bukas mababasa ko sa journal ito," Padilla said on July 28.
He clarified, however, that he could still grasp some of the discussions, but that he had problems when his fellow senators began using complicated words that would require a dictionary to understand.
In his bid to "promote the policy of inclusion and equal opportunities for all Filipinos", Padilla had filed Senate Bill 228 some days prior, which would push for the equal use of the Filipino and English languages in government documents.
Under the bill, the following documents will be required to be published in both Filipino and English as their official languages:
- Executive issuances including implementing rules and regulations of acts, executive orders, proclamations, administrative orders, memorandum circulars and memorandum orders;
- Legislative documents including acts, bills, rules of procedures, resolutions, journals, and committee reports;
- Judicial Issuances and Proceedings including "decisions, resolutions, rules and other issuances of the Supreme Court and lower courts";
- International Treaties
- Public Advisories
- Publication of Acts