MANILA Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will launch next week the nationwide celebration of the annual Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.
The celebration will kick off with the joint flag-raising ceremony of Manila City government and KWF on Monday (July 29) at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine near Manila City Hall.
The flag-raising event will be at 7:30 a.m., earlier than the previous 8 a.m. schedule, the KWF said on Friday.
KWF said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno already confirmed to attend the event.
Also expected are representatives of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as well as other government agencies.
KWF senior language researcher Roy Rene Cagalingan said that after the flag-raising, KWF will air at the venue a video on Bantayog-Wika monuments that the agency installed and unveiled around the country.
Each of the monuments represents a Philippine language, he said.
Proclamation 1041 series of 1997 proclaimed August of every year as Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.
Buwan ng Wika highlights the importance Philippine languages in promoting communication, understanding, unity and progress in the country.
According to KWF, "Wikang Katutubo: Tungo sa Isang Bansang Filipino" is Buwan ng Wika's theme this year.
The 2019 Wika activities nationwide aim to help raise awareness about indigenous languages' role in promoting Philippine development and forming the country's national identity, Cagalingan said.
Such activities also support the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) celebration this year, he added.
In 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/71/178 proclaiming 2019 as IYIL.
IYIL aims to draw international attention to the critical loss of indigenous languages, the resolution noted.
Among the activities for this year's Buwan ng Wika celebration are the Aug. 5-7 Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Pagsasalin in Manila, and the Aug. 19-21 Pambansang Kongreso sa Katutubong Wika in Bacolod City.
Cagalingan said the schools' Sentro ng Wika at Kultura (SWAK) centers around the country will support the launch of the 2019 Buwan ng Wika.
"SWAKs will simultaneously conduct, at 8 a.m. Monday, flag-raising ceremonies in respective areas," he said.
He said SWAKs will afterwards light on Monday morning the Bantayog-Wika monuments.
According to KWF, the country has about 130 languages with some nearing extinction due to decreasing number of people who speak these.
KWF has been installing and unveiling its Bantayog-Wika monuments around the country since 2018 to help raise public awareness and promote use of indigenous Philippine languages, averting extinction of these communication modes.
The agency targets unveiling a Bantayog-Wika monument for each Philippine language.
Monuments that KWF unveiled this year so far are for the Tiboli, Blaan and Ivatan languages. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency