Open Letter to the Department of Education

Updated on 5 February, 2013, 6:32PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5 February 2013, MANILA  On the official website of the Philippine Department of Education, the following Vision is listed:

The DepEd Vision

By 2030, DepEd is globally recognized for good governance and for developing functionally-literate [sic] and God-loving Filipinos.

The following listing of Core Values can also be found:

Core Values

  • Culture of Excellence, Integrity and Accountability
  • Maka-Diyos
  • Makatao
  • Makabayan
  • Makalikasan [sic]

Screenshot of the said webpage

Filipino Freethinkers denounces these mentions of “God-loving” and “Maka-Diyos” as they are clear violations of the principle of secularism. They enshrine theism as a preferred belief system and imply that those who do not subscribe to belief in a deity are at best second-class citizens who have flawed or incomplete values.

We therefore call on the Department of Education to remove these or replace them with secular counterparts.

We are fully aware though that our government has long been negligent in honoring the separation clause. Similar mentions of god in our currency have been present for a long time (“Faith in our people and faith in God” on the 500-Peso bill and “PINAGPALA ANG BAYAN NA ANG DIYOS ANG PANGINOON” on the 100-Peso bill) and these are also violations of the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, our previous calls for the removal of these clauses seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Our constitution clearly states that “the separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” With this, we strongly urge the Department of Education to act on this matter through the omission or replacement of the said clauses with more universal values that apply to both theists and non-theists alike.

 

 

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Contact:
Pepe Bawagan, Secularism Advocacy Director
Filipino Freethinkers
09273437441
[email protected]

Update: The Department of Education has replied via twitter that this is an old vision statement that they have reviewed and that a new vision statement will be released in the coming weeks. We look forward to having a more inclusive vision statement from the DepEd.

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