Commission on the Filipino Language

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Commission on the Filipino Language
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino

KWF logo.jpg

Established: August 14, 1991
Chairman: Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco
Address: 2nd Floor, Watson Bldg., JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, Malacanang Complex
Telephone Number: 02-736-2525/24

The Commission on the Filipino Language (CFL) or Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, is a government agency under the Office of the President created in accordance to Republic Act No. 7104, known as Commission on the Filipino Language Act. Signed on August 14, 1991 by Former President Corazon C. Aquino, CFL is tasked to develop and enrich the Filipino language, as well as preserve and maintain all the native languages of the Philippines.



The Commission on the Filipino Language replaced the Institute of Philippine Languages (IPL), which then served as replacement for the Institute of National Language (INL), by virtue of Executive Order NO. 117 issued by President Aquino in January 1987.

INL or Surian ng Wikang Pambansa in Filipino, was the first government agency to initiate the development of the Philippine national language. It selected Tagalog on November 13, 1936, as the Wikang Pambansâ (national language) on the basis of:

  • It is widely spoken and is the language most understood in all the regions of the Philippines;
  • It is not divided into smaller, separate languages as other languages in the country;
  • Its literary tradition is the richest and the most developed and extensive (mirroring that of the Tuscan dialect of Italian) among the native languages. More books are written in Tagalog than in any other autochthonous Philippine language;
  • It has always been the language of Manila, and the political and economic capital of the Philippines under both Spanish and American rulers;
  • And, it is the language of the Revolution and the Katipunan, which are two very important incidents in Philippine history.

However, Tagalog was replaced by Pilipino and then by Filipino. See Filipino language.

The 1987 Constitution, Article XIV, Section 8 estates that "the Congress shall establish a national language commission composed of representatives of various regions and disciplines which shall undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation, and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages.


Its mission is to implement research programs and projects for the development and enrichment of the Filipino language as well as preserve and maintain the other native languages of the Philippines.


Among the commission's powers, functions and duties are:

  1. To 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;
  4. Propose guidelines and standards for linguistic forms and expressions in all official communications, publications, textbooks and other reading and teaching materials;
  5. Encourage to 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.


The Commission shall be composed of eleven (11) commissioners, one of whom shall serve as Chairman. The Commissioners shall represent the major Philippine languages: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon and the major languages of Muslim Mindanao. The Northern Cultural Communities, Southern Cultural Communities and such other Philippine languages or ethnolinguistic regions as the Commission may decide upon; and at least four (4) of these Commissioners shall also represent various disciplines. (R.A. No. 7104, Section 5)


The five promotional divisions of the CFL are:

  1. Linguistic Division - undertake continuing research on phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of Filipino; write an official reference grammar and a pedagogical grammar of Filipino; and study the possible applications of modern linguistic theory and grammatical models to the analysis of Filipino structure;
  2. Lexicography Division - in charge of conducting studies on Philippine lexicography problems and explore the applicability of modern lexicographical theories to the compilation of Philippine dictionaries; periodically revise existing dictionaries and compile new ones in order order to meet the communication needs of government, the schools, and other sectors of society; and document current changes in meaning, pronunciation and usage;
  3. Translation Division - in charge of undertaking a continuing study of both theoretical and practical problems of translation related to Filipino and other Philippine languages; translate into Filipino (and other Philippine languages if required and necessary) important government records, documents, laws, proceedings, manuals and other related materials; and translate into Filipino major works in literature an in the various fields of knowledge;
  4. Information and Publications Division - maintains the accurate record of all laws, acts, executive orders, administrative circulars and all other official issuances on the national language; organizing training, conferences, seminars, workshops and forum on the national language and its use, and coordinate promotional and campaign activities with language organizations and Filipino teachers associations; and preparing informations and Filipino teachers associations; and preparing informations brochures on all aspects of the national language; and
  5. Other Languages and Literature Division - tasked with gathering of bibliographical information on the various ethnolinguistic groups, with special emphasis on language and inter-ethnic communication, oral and written literature, folk arts, and culture; collecting, conducting studies and preservation of available documents, relics and artifacts of local culture.




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