Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano has filed a measure which seeks the creation of a commission that would look into changing the name of the Philippines.
Under House Bill 5867, Alejano proposed the creation of a “Geographic Renaming Commission” which would “study the possibility and the feasibility of renaming our country.”
The lawmaker, a former Marine captain turned mutineer, said the possible name should “appropriately address and define us as a people and nation.”
The commission would be composed of three members from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF).
The commission, under the measure, would receive an initial funding of P30 million.
It would be tasked to complete its work “not later than one year” from the approval of the act. Its report-recommendation would then be submitted to the president.
The bill was filed last June 7, and released by his office on Sunday, June 11. Alejano said the filing was “apt as we are about to celebrate the 199th year of independence.”
Alejano explained that renaming the country would rid it of the vestiges of colonialism; establish the national identity; and define how the nation, people, and national language would be addressed internationally.
Alejano noted that many countries that were former colonies had “reverted back to their former pre-colonized names as it gives them a sense of national pride and identity as a free people.”
“[V]arious colonizers came over which muddled our identity as a people and nation. Felipenas, Filipinas, Pilipinas, Philippines—which of these is the correct name of our country? It is high time for us to have a name which befits us and is universal to all,” he added.