May 21, 1987
DO 52, s. 1987
The 1987 Policy on Bilingual Education

To: Bureau Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Superintendents
Presidents, State Colleges and Universities
Heads of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities

  1. The provision of Article XIV Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution states:
    “For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino, and until otherwise provided by law, English.
    The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.”
  2. In consonance with this mandate the declared policy of the Department of Education and Culture on bilingualism in the schools (NBE Resolution No. 73-7, s. 1973), the Department of Education, Culture and Sports hereby promulgates the following policy:
    1. The Policy on Bilingual Education aims at the achievement of competence in both Filipino and English at the national level, through the teaching of both languages and their use as media of instruction at all levels. The regional languages shall be used as auxiliary languages in Grades I and II. The aspiration of the Filipino to enable them to perform their functions and duties as Filipino citizens and in English in order to meet the needs of the country in the community of nations.
    2. The goals of the Bilingual Education Policy shall be:
      1. Enhanced learning through two languages to achieve quality education as called for by the 1987 Constitution;
      2. the propagation of Filipino as a language of literacy;
      3. the development of Filipino as a linguistic symbol of national unity and identity;
      4. the cultivation and elaboration of Filipino as a language of scholarly discourse that is to say, its continuing intellectualization; and
      5. the maintenance of English as an international language for the Philippines and as a non-exclusive language of science and technology.
    3. Filipino and English shall be used as media of instruction, the use allocated to specific subjects in the curriculum as indicated in Department Order No. 25, s. 1974.
    4. The regional languages shall be used as auxiliary media of instruction and as initial language for literacy where needed.
    5. Filipino and English shall be taught as language subjects in all levels to achieve the goals of bilingual competence.
    6. Since competence in the use of both Filipino and English is one of the goals of the Bilingual Education Policy, continuing improvement in the teaching of both languages, their use as media of instruction and the specification shall be the responsibility of the whole educational system.
    7. Tertiary level institutions shall lead in the continuing intellectualization of Filipino. The program of intellectualization, however, shall also be pursued in both the elementary and secondary levels.
    8. The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall cooperate with the National Language Commission which, according to the 1987 Constitution, shall be tasked with the further development and enrichment of Filipino.
    9. The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall provide the means by which the language policy can be implemented with the cooperation of government and non-government organizations.
    10. The Department shall program funds for implementing the Policy, in such areas as materials production, in-service training, compensatory, and enrichment program for non-Tagalogs, development of a suitable and standardized Filipino For classroom use and the development of appropriate evaluative instruments.
  3. This Order supersedes previous Orders on the Bilingual Education Policy that are inconsistent with it.
  4. This Order shall take effect immediately.


Reference: Department Orders: Nos. 9, s. 1973 and (25, s. 1974)
Allotment: 1-2-3-4–(M.O. 1-87)

To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects: