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Commission on the Filipino Language

The Commission on the Filipino Language (Filipino: Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino;[2]) is the official regulating body of the Filipino language and the official government institution tasked with developing, preserving, and promoting the various local Philippine languages.[3][4] The commission was established in accordance with the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.

Commission on the Filipino Language
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).svg
Agency overview
Formed1937 (first formation)
1991 (reformed)
Jurisdiction Philippines
HeadquartersSan Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Annual budget₱107.53 million Php (2018)[1]
Agency executives

Established by Republic Act No. 7104 of 1991, the commission is a replacement for the Institute of Philippine Languages (IPL) that was set up in 1987 which was a replacement of the older Institute of National Language (INL), established in 1937 as the first government agency to foster the development of a Philippine national language.[5]



The 1st National Assembly of the Philippines passed Commonwealth Act No. 184, s. 1936, establishing an Institute of National Language (Surian ng Wikang Pambansa). On January 12, 1937, Former President Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina appointed the members to compose the INL. By virtue of Executive Order No. 134 issued and signed by President Quezón on December 30, 1937, approved the adoption of Tagalog as the basis of the national language, and declared and proclaimed the national language based on Tagalog, as the national language of the Philippines.[6] In 1938, the INL was dissolved and replaced with the National Language Institute. Its purpose was to prepare for the nationwide teaching of the Tagalog-based national language (Wikang Pambansa na batay sa Tagalog) by creating a dictionary and a grammar book with a standardized orthography. In the School Year of 1940-41, the teaching of the national language (Wikang Pambansa), with its new standardized orthography, was set by law in the fourth year of all high schools in both public and private schools throughout the country.[7] The Tagalog-based national language was taught in school only as one of the subject areas in 1940 but was not adapted as the medium of instruction.

During the Second World War, the Japanese occupiers encouraged the use of the national language rather than English in the schools. The Tagalog-based national language was, therefore, propagated not only in education but also in mass media and in official communication. The census for 1948 reported that 7,126,913 people or 37.11% of the population spoke the language, representing an increase of 11.7% from the 1939 figure of 4,068,565. Of these seven million people, 47.7% learnt it as a second language.[8]

The current commission was established by Republic Act No. 7104 of 1991, replacing the Institute of Philippine Languages (IPL) that was previously set up in January 1987 (EO No. 117); itself, a replacement of the older Institute of National Language (INL), established in 1937.[9]

In October 2018, the KWF announced in its newsletter Diyaryo Filiino (Filipino Newspaper) its bringing online a National Dictionary in compliance with the commission's National Orthography of 2013:[10] According to the same October 2018 newsletter, also in the works (in experimental and pilot-testing stage) is an official spellcheck in accordance with the Ortograpiyang Pambansa (National Orthography) and the Manwal sa Masinop na Pagsulat (Manual to Provident/Neat/Careful Writing).[11]

Original commission members (circa 1937)Edit

  • Jaime C. de Veyra (Waray-Waray Visayan), Chairman[6]
  • Santiago A. Fonacier (Ilocano), Member
  • Casimiro F. Perfecto (Bicolano), Member
  • Felix S. Salas Rodriguez (Hiligaynon Visayan), Member
  • Filemon Sotto (Cebuano Visayan), Member
  • Cecilio López (Tagalog), Member and Secretary
  • Hadji Butu (Moro), Member

Board of Commissioners (present)Edit

  • Virgilio S. Almario (Chairman of the Commission/Tagapangulo)
  • Jimmy B. Fong (Mga Wika sa Kahilagaang Pamayanang Kultural)
  • Lorna E. Flores (Mga Wika sa Katimugang Pamayanang Kultural)
  • John E. Barrios (Hiligaynon)
  • Orlando B. Magno (Cebuano)
  • Ma. Crisanta N. Flores (Pangasinan)
  • Lucena P. Samson (Kapampangan)
  • Purificacion Delima (Ilocano)
  • Abdon M. Balde Jr. (Bicolano)
  • Jerry B. Gracio (Waray-Waray)
  • Noriam H. Ladjagais (Mga Wika sa Muslim Mindanao)
  • Roberto T. Añonuevo - Director General of the Commission


One major criticism of the commission is that it supposedly fails in its goal of further developing the Filipino language. This is grounded in the fact that Filipino is essentially Tagalog, a fact acknowledged by former Commissioner, Ricardo María Durán Nolasco,[12] and with an impoverished technical and scientific vocabulary, at that, which relies heavily on foreign borrowings and, often, constructions. It is often left to the universities to develop their own respective terminologies for each field, leading to a lack of uniformity and general public disuse.

It is argued[13] that current state of the Filipino language is contrary to the intention of Republic Act (RA) No. 7104 that requires that the national language be developed and enriched by the lexicon of the country's other languages. However, Resolution 92-1,[14] which defines the national language as "the language spoken in Metro Manila and other business centers of the country", does not necessarily run counter to RA No. 7104.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hiligaynon: Komisyon sa Panghambal nga Filipino; Cebuano: Komisyon sa Pinulongang Filipino; Pangasinan: Komisyon na Salitan Filipino; Kapampangan: Komisyun king Amanung Filipinu; Ilokano: Komision iti Pagsasao a Filipino; Central Bicolano: Komisyon sa Tataramon na Filipino; Waray: Komisyon ha Yinaknan nga Filipino
  3. ^ Wika wiki / Misyon at Bisyon
  4. ^ "The Commission was charged with the mission not only to develop Filipino as a language of literature and as an academic language but likewise to preserve and develop the other languages".Andrew Gonzalez (1988). "The Language Planning Situation in the Philippines" (PDF). Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 19 (5&6): 508. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-16.
  5. ^ Catacataca, Pamfilo. "The Commission on the Filipino Language". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  6. ^ a b "Executive Order No. 134 : Proclaiming the national language of the Philippines based on the "Tagalog" language" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  7. ^ Pangilinan, Michael Raymon. "Kapampángan or Capampáñgan: Settling the Dispute on the Kapampángan Romanized Orthography" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
  8. ^ Belvez, Paz. "Development of Filipino, the national language of the Philippines". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  9. ^ Catacataca, Pamfilo. "The Commission on the Filipino Language". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  10. ^ "Onlayn na ang Pambansang Diksiyonaryo!(Tagalog: The National Dictionary is Now Online!)" (PDF). Diyaryo Filiino (Filipino Newspaper). Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. October 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  11. ^ Pelagio, Earvin (October 2018). "Spellcheck para sa Filipino(Tagalog: Spellcheck for Filipino)" (PDF). Diyaryo Filiino (Filipino Newspaper). Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  12. ^ Inquirer (2007). "New center to document Philippine dialects". Asian Journal. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
  13. ^ Congressional Record : Plenary Proceedings of the 14th Congress, First Regular Session : House of Representatives Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, Vol. 1, No. 11, August 14, 2007, pp. 455-460 (Rep. López opens the discussion)
  14. ^ Resolution No. 92-1 : Description of basic Filipino language,

External linksEdit