Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

MANILA — Malacañang on Sunday expressed support for the proposal of a Department of Education (DepEd) official to use to “sablay” instead of the usual toga for graduation rites in elementary and secondary schools.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo welcomed DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua’s push for the use of sablay to “instill patriotism and nationalism among young learners.”

Panelo said using a sablay instead of toga would mean fewer expenses for parents, especially those already struggling to pay tuition.

“Baka naman mas mura ‘yun. Okay lang ‘yun basta anything na hindi naman masama, makakabuti sa mga bata, okay lang lahat ‘yun. Kung makaka-menos sa gastos ng parents, okay lahat ‘yun (It might be cheaper. It’s okay as long as it won’t harm and it’s for the good of the schoolchildren, it’s okay. If it’s going to cut down expenses of parents, it’s okay),” he said in an interview over DZIQ.

Earlier, Pascua said the use of the toga, “with its deep Western roots, has been taken for granted all these years despite its many disadvantages.”

He said the main disadvantage of using the toga is that “it is not Filipino.”

“It does not inspire loyalty to the nation but selves as a reminder of a colonial past and the toga, which covers the whole body, is impractical and uncomfortable to use in a tropical country like the Philippines,” Pascua said.

Pascua also noted that “renting or buying a toga, with gown and cap, is an additional expense and an added burden on parents.”

The use of sablay by millions of students, he said will also “provide jobs and empower women and men weavers and revive and sustain local and traditional weaving enterprises.”

If approved, the use of sablay for end-of-school-year rites may be implemented as early as this school year or in the coming years.

However, Pascua clarified that his proposal has yet to be discussed at the execom-Mmancom levels and “remains a proposition.”

He said his proposed Aide Memoire dated Feb. 18 “was leaked” before it was presented to the executive committee for discussion.

Sablay is an indigenous loose sash-like garment that is worn across the chest during formal occasions. It is also known as the official academic costume of the University of the Philippines (UP). (PNA)

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