S. No. 209 H. No. 21280 / 87 OG No. 42, 6173 (Oct. 21, 1991) ; 2 VLD 121 2d ; Malaya 8/22/91

[ REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7104, August 14, 1991 ]


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Commission on the Filipino Language Act".

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. - Pursuant to the mandate of the Constitution, it is hereby declared to be a policy of the Government to ensure and promote the evolution, development and further enrichment of Filipino as the national language of the Philippines, on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.  To this end, the Government shall take the necessary steps to carry out the said policy.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act, the following terms are defined as follows:
  1. Commission - refers to the Commission on the Filipino Language.
  2. Chairman - refers to the Chairman of the Commission.
  3. Filipino - refers to the national language of the Philippines.
  4. Philippine languages -refer to the indigenous languages of the Philippines, including the national language and the regional and local languages.
  5. Regional language - refers to the lingua franca or the commonly spoken language of a region.
  6. Major language - refers to a language spoken and used by at least one-fiftieth (1/50) or two percent (2%) of all Filipinos, based on the most recent available data of the National Census Office.
  7. Auxiliary language - refers to a particular language, spoken in certain places, which supports or helps the national and/or official languages in their assigned functions.
  8. Other languages - refer to foreign languages, whether official or not, as long as they have influenced the indigenous languages and cultures to a certain degree.
  9. Ethnolinguistic regions - refer to certain geographical areas where particular groups of people speak a common language.
  10. Disciplines - refer to various fields of learning.
SEC. 4. Creation of the Commission on the Filipino Language. - There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Commission on the Filipino Language, composed of representatives of various ethnolinguistic groups and different disciplines, which shall undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages and which shall be directly under the Office of the President.

SEC. 5. Composition of the Commission. - The Commission shall be composed of eleven (11) commissioners, one of whom shall serve as Chairman.  The commissioners shall represent the major Philippine languages, as defined in Section 3 of this Act:  Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon and the major language of Muslim Mindanao; the Northern Cultural Communities; the Southern Cultural Communities; and such other Philippine languages or ethnolinguistic regions as the Commission may decide upon:  Provided, That at least four (4) of these commissioners shall also represent various disciplines.

The Chairman and two (2) of the commissioners shall serve on a full-time basis; the remaining eight (8) shall serve on a part-time basis and shall attend the regular and special meetings of the Commission.

SEC. 6. Appointment and Qualifications of Commissioners. -The commissioners shall be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, from the list of nominees to be submitted by the different ethnolinguistic regions in the country.  The President shall appoint from the eleven (11) commissioners the Chairman and the two (2) full-time commissioners.  The President shall likewise appoint from the remaining eight (8) commissioners, four (4) commissioners who shall serve for a term of five (5) years and four (4) who shall serve for a term of three (3) years.  In the absence of the Chairman, the commissioners shall choose a temporary or acting chairman from the two (2) full-time commissioners.

No one shall be appointed as commissioner unless he/she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, at least thirty (30) years old, morally upright and noted for his/her expertise in linguistics, the culture and the language of the ethnolinguistic region and the discipline he/she represents.

SEC. 7. Terms of Office. - The Chairman and the two (2) full-time commissioners shall serve serve for a term of seven (7) years. Four (4) of the remaining commissioners shall serve for a term of five (5) years and the four (4) other commissioners, for a term of three (3) years. The commissioners maybe reappointed for a maximum of one (1) term by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.

SEC. 8. Vacancy. - In case a vacancy occurs prior to the expiration of the term of office of a commissioner, the replacement shall serve only the unexpired portion of the term of office that was vacated.  The Commission shall, within thirty (30) days from the date the vacancy occurs, recommend to the President a replacement from the list of nominees submitted by the particular ethnolinguistic region affected by the vacancy, subject to the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments:  Provided, That, in the event the Commission fails to make such a recommendation, the vacancy shall be filled up by the President, also from the said list of nominees and with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.

SEC. 9. Compensation. - The Chairman and the two (2) fulltime commissioners shall have the same rank, privileges, salary, allowances and other emoluments as the Chairman and members, respectively, of other constitutional commissions, which shall not be decreased during their term of office.  Each of the part-time commissioners shall receive his/her compensation in the form of an honorarium for every meeting he/she attends, at a rate to be determined by the Commission.

SEC. 10. Rules of Procedures and Meetings. - The Commission shall adopt its own rules and procedures and shall hold sessions at least once a month or as often as the Commission deems necessary.  A majority of the eleven (11) commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

SEC. 11. Organizational Structure. - The Commission shall determine its organizational structure:  Provided, That the technical personnel of the Commission shall be exempt from the rules and regulations of the Office of Compensation and/or eligibility requirements of the Civil Service Commission.

SEC. 12. Director General. - There shall be a director general who shall be appointed by the Commission for a term of seven (7) years and who may be reappointed for a maximum of one (1) term.  The Commission shall determine the powers, functions, duties and compensation of the director general.

SEC. 13. The Secretariat. - There shall be a secretariat to be headed by the director general.  The functions, duties and compensation of its personnel shall be determined by the Commission, upon the recommendation of the director general.

SEC. 14. Powers, Functions and Duties of the Commission. -The Commission, pursuant to the pertinent provisions of the Constitution, shall have the following powers, functions and duties:
  1. formulate policies, plans and programs to ensure the further development, enrichment, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages;
  2. promulgate rules, regulations and guidelines to implement its policies, plans and programs;
  3. undertake or contract research and other studies to promote the evolution, development, enrichment and eventual standardization of Filipino and other Philippine languages.  This will include the collation of works for possible incorporation into a multi-lingual dictionary of words, phrases, idioms, quotations, sayings and other expressions, including words and phrases from other languages now commonly used or included in the lingua franca;
  4. propose guidelines and standards for linguistic forms and expressions in all official communications, publications, textbooks and other reading and teaching materials;
  5. encourage and promote, through a system of incentives, grants and awards, the writing and publication, in Filipino and other Philippine languages, of original works, including textbooks and reference materials in various disciplines;
  6. create and maintain within the Commission a division of translation which shall encourage through incentives, undertake and vigorously support the translation into Filipino and other Philippine languages of important historical works and cultural traditions of ethnolinguistic groups, laws, resolutions and other legislative enactments, executive issuances, government policy statements and official documents, textbooks and reference materials in various disciplines and other foreign materials which it may deem necessary for education and other purposes;
  7. call on any department, bureau, office, agency or any instrumentality of Government or on any private entity, institution or organization for cooperation and assistance in the performance of its functions, duties and responsibilities;
  8. conduct, at the national, regional and local levels, public hearings, conferences, seminars and other group discussions to identify and help resolve problems and issues involving the development, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages;
  9. formulate and adopt guidelines, standards and systems for monitoring and reporting on its performance at the national, regional and local levels; and submit to the Office of the President and to Congress an annual progress report on the implementation of its policies, plans and programs;
  10. appoint, subject to the provisions of existing laws, its officials and employees and such other personnel as are necessary for the effective performance of its functions, duties and responsibilities; and dismiss them for cause;
  11. organize and reorganize the structure of the Commission, create or abolish positions, or change the designation of existing positions to meet the changing conditions or as the need therefor arises:  Provided, That such changes shall not affect the employment status of the incumbents, reduce their ranks, decrease their salaries or result in their separation from the service; and
  12. perform such other activities which are necessary for the effective exercise of the abovementioned powers, functions, duties and responsibilities.
SEC. 15. Franking Privilege. - The publications of the Commission, such as dictionaries, vocabularies, grammars, pamphlets, circulars, leaflets and all other similar printed matter shall enjoy the use of the mails free of postage.

SEC. 16. Transfer of Existing Agency. - All personnel, records, assets, equipment, funds and properties belonging to the Institute of Philippine Languages under Executive Order No. 117 are hereby transferred to the Commission, which shall execute, administer, handle and dispose of such assets, properties and appropriations, in accordance with the provisions of this Act.  All research, dictionaries, publications and other intellectual outputs of the Institute are likewise deemed transferred to the Commission.

The Commission shall effect the transfer herein provided in a manner that will ensure the least disruption of on-going programs of the Institute.  The qualified and necessary personnel of the Institute shall be transferred to and be absorbed by the Commission:  Provided, That the tenure, rank, salaries and privileges of such personnel are not reduced or adversely affected:  Provided, further, That, in the period prior to the actual assumption of duties by the Commission and its functioning as such, all officers and employees of the Institute shall continue to exercise all their functions and discharge all their duties and responsibilities:  Provided, finally, That the existing Institute of Philippine Languages shall be deemed abolished upon the organization of the Commission, its actual assumption of its duties and its functioning as such.

SEC. 17. Appropriations. - The funding requirements necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be charged to the current fiscal year appropriations of the Institute of Philippine Languages.  Thereafter, such sum as may be necessary is hereby authorized to be appropriated in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law.

SEC. 18. Promulgation. - This Act shall be promulgated in Filipino and in English and shall be translated into the regional languages of the Philippines.  In case of doubt, the Filipino version shall be binding.

SEC. 19. Separability Clause. - In the event any provision of this Act or the application of such provision is declared invalid, the remainder of this Act or the application of the said provision shall not be affected thereby.

SEC. 20. Repealing Clause. - All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders or parts thereof that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

SEC. 21. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in one (1) newspaper of general circulation.


President of the Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives

This bill which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 209 and House Bill No. 21280, was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on June 6, 1991.

Secretary of the Senate Secretary General
House of Representatives

Approved: August 14, 1991

President of the Philippines

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