Mandatory school lessons on Philippine cinema pushed

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

A PARTY-LIST group has re-filed a bill seeking to introduce high school students to Philippine cinema at a time when high production cost, lack of government support and dominance of foreign films have limited its growth.

Under House Bill 4756 or the Philippine Cinema Appreciation Act for High School Students, the Department of Education (DepEd) is tasked to require students to undergo series of lectures or take an entire subject regarding Filipino films, "whichever is more practicable."

The crafting of courses and special lectures will have to be coordinated with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI).

"Philippine cinema has a long and storied past that, if taught early to our high school students, will surely play a pivotal role in creating a generation of critical-minded Filipinos,” said the bill's author Kabataan Representative Terry Ridon, citing masterpieces that portray Philippine social realities such as "Bayan Ko:Kapit sa Patalim," "Oro Plata Mata," "Nunal sa Tubig", and "Sister Stella L."

He also said that films "enhance and reflect the cultural and social identity of our nation."

The bill was first filed in the 15th Congress by former Kabataan Representative Raymond Palatino. (Sunnex)

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