The Twelve Points of the NDF Program
9. Promote a national and progressive people’s culture.
Centuries of foreign and feudal rule have built up a culture of subservience, blind imitation of foreign things and backward thinking, a culture which has made foreign and feudal exploitation and oppression palatable or unrecognizable. A national democratic cultural revolution is necessary to create the consciousness that will impel the people to fight and overthrow their oppressors and in the process, give birth to a national and progressive people’s culture.
Decades of waging this cultural revolution have instilled among the people a stronger sense of nationhood and purpose and imbued them with the spirit of standing up against oppression and injustice. The cultural reawakening has driven into the popular consciousness progressive and revolutionary ideas, exposing the roots of their sufferings as a nation and people and offering the vision of an independent, democratic and just society.Progressive currents have arisen within the churches and have added moral weight and new liberating ideas to the revolutionary struggles.
In both cities and countryside, various art forms (literature, visual arts, theater arts, music, etc.) that reflect the conditions and aspirations of the people have been created by revolutionary and patriotic artists. Literacy and education programs are being carried out among various classes and sectors of society, especially the workers and peasants, to liberate them from ignorance, superstitions and the lies and half-truths propagated by the imperialists and the local ruling classes.
Once in place, the new government will further develop culture that corresponds to, and promote, the new social order. It will propagate a national, progressive and popular culture.
National because it upholds and defends the sovereignty and independence of the Filipino nation, combating colonial mentality and subservience. It expresses a distinct Filipino character and embodies the richness of the cultures of various regions and areas, as well as those of the Bangsa Moro, the peoples of the Cordillera and other indigenous peoples in the country.
Progressive because it upholds the scientific outlook and methodology, and opposes feudal thinking, superstitions and ideas which keep the Filipino people in a world of ignorance and unfounded beliefs, values, practices and prejudices which render them resistant to revolutionary and liberating change.
Popular because it emanates from, and serves the interests of, the broad masses of the Filipino people, reflects their conditions and expresses their needs and aspirations, and combats prevailing decadent, bourgeois and feudal, anti-people and anti- women values embodied in cultural forms and their introduction and propagation. In addition, the new government shall foster values that encourage popular participation in public affairs and strengthen the spirit of public service.
The new government shall foster and promote the people’s culture through the educational system, the arts, the mass media, and direct campaigns among the people. In this regard, ownership of educational, cultural and mass media institutions shall be freed from foreign control and private monopoly. However, people’s organizations and professional guilds may own and operate cultural and mass media facilities. The freedoms of speech, press and expression shall be guaranteed.
Education, being the primary responsibility of the state, shall be accessible to all Filipinos. Free education shall be ensured at the primary and secondary levels, while appropriate subsidies for tertiary education shall be provided. Privately owned and administered educational institutions will be allowed under a policy of gradual assimilation into the public education sector.
Extensive literacy and educational campaigns shall be carried out to raise the cultural level of the people in areas that have lagged behind because of past disadvantages. Institutions of formal and non-formal education will be restructured and shall undertake the translation, publication, and massive dissemination of low-cost books and other reading materials. At the shortest time possible, the content of the curricula will be reoriented to make them more relevant to the needs of the nation and the people. The new government will support the development of the creative arts (literature, visual and graphic arts, music, dance, film and the theater) and the growth of centers for artistic experimentation and innovation. It will encourage the adoption of a popular orientation, social relevance and revolutionary content and the development of creativity and quality of form in the arts, enhancing their contribution to the social and cultural liberation of the people.
The new government will propagate science and technology education and set up research centers for basic science and technology. It will also promote and encourage direct and active participation of productive enterprises in science and technology development. Filipino shall be developed and popularized as the national language. Local languages and dialects will continue to be used and developed and contribute to the development of Filipino even as the latter does its share towards their further development.
The diversity of cultures among the various ethnolinguistic communities will be respected and fostered. Affirmative action shall be taken to rectify institutionalized oppression and discrimination.
Accounts of our history shall be rewritten from the Filipino people’s point of view, highlighting their role in the making of history. Past distortions made by the imperialists and the local ruling classes to serve their interests shall be rectified. Our national cultural heritage shall be preserved and honored as a source of our people’s dignity and pride. National cultural treasures will not be allowed to be brought out of the country. Cultural exchanges of artists, writers, educators, scientists, scholars and others shall be encouraged, in the spirit of learning from one another and adopting those ideas and things that serve the needs of the nation and the people.