My teacher, my hero: Bill wants official mourning for public school teachers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 26 2017 08:51 PM | Updated as of Jun 27 2017 01:21 AM

Flag to fly at half-mast for not more than 5 days in public school 

MANILA - The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill 5224, which updates the rules on the rendition of the national anthem, and strengthens the rules on the use and display of the country's national symbols.

The bill seeks to repeal Republic Act No. 8491 or the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines."

Under the proposed "Revised Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," all government offices and educational institutions are mandated to observe flag-raising ceremonies every Monday morning and flag-lowering every Friday afternoon. 

Aside from flying the flag at half-mast as a sign of mourning for the death of top-ranking government officials, the flag should also be flown at half-mast on the day of the official announcement of the death of an incumbent public school teacher and for a period of not more than five days, on Department of Education (DepEd) schools or district offices where the deceased was assigned to teach. 

This is intended to pay "tribute to the selfless dedication of public school teachers."

The approved bill says all students in both private and public educational institutions are required to memorize the national anthem, "Lupang Hinirang."

As a sign of respect, all persons shall stand at attention and face the Philippine flag, if one is displayed. Should there be no flag displayed, they should face the band or the conductor.

Those whose faith or religious beliefs prohibit them from singing the national anthem are nonetheless expected to show full respect when the national anthem is being sung or played by standing on attention.

The "Lupang Hinirang" shall be played in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe, in 2/4 beat when played, and within the range of 100 to 120 metronome, in 4/4 beat when sung.

It is not required to be played and sung preceding events of mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes, except during international competitions hosted or represented by the Philippines; national or local sports competitions; during the "signing off" and "signing on" of radio and television broadcast stations; before the initial and last screening of films, and before the opening of theater performances, and other occasions as may be allowed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

The singing of the national anthem in other languages or dialects may also be allowed, subject to approval of the NHCP, in consultation with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).

The "Revised Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines" also mandates reverence and respect for the flag, the national anthem and other national symbols at all times.

"Heraldic and heraldic items and devices" as referred in the bill are the coat-of-arms, seals, logos, insignias, badges, flashes, patches, orders and decorations, medals, stars citations, lapel pins, trophies, dry wax or wet seals, and imprints on letterheads, envelopes and cards.

The bill requires that the flag be permanently hoisted, day and night throughout the year, in front of government institutions and other places such as the Malacañang Palace, the buildings of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court, the Rizal Monument in Luneta, and other places as may be designated by the NHCP.

All government offices, business establishments, institutions of learning and private homes are obligated to display the flag and observe proper ceremonies during Flag Days, from May 28 to June 12.

The flag should also be displayed or raised in front of private buildings and residences every April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan), May 1 (Labor Day), May 28 (National Day Flag) to June 12 (Independence Day), last Monday of August (National Heroes' Day), November 30 (Bonifacio Day), December 30 (Rizal Day), and on such days as may be declared by the President and/or local chief executives.

The bill also prohibits the wearing of the flag, seal, coat-of-arms as part of a costume or a fashion accessory or design element, as well as printing or attaching said symbols on products, advertisements or infomercials without the approval of the NHCP.

Authors of the bill include Reps. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), Christopher de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), Marlyn Alonte (Lone District, Biñan City), Victoria Isabel Noel (Party-list, AN WARAY), Jose Christopher Belmonte (6th District, Quezon City), Deogracias Victor Savellano (1st District, Ilocos Sur), Sandra Eriguel (2nd District, La Union), Pablo Ortega (1st District, La Union), Anna Katrina Enverga (1st District, Quezon), Lianda Bolilia (4th District, Batangas), Rossana Vergara (3rd District, Nueva Ecija), Ron Salo (Party-list, KABAYAN), Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City), Cecilia Leonila Chavez (Party-list, BUTIL), Luisa Lloren Cuaresma (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya), Divina Grace Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur), Vilma Santos-Recto (6th District, Batangas), Glona Labadlabad (2nd District, Zamboanga del Norte), Ana Cristina Go (2nd District, Isabela), Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City), Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan),Harlin Neil Abayon III (Party-list, AANGAT TAYO), and Manuel Jose Dalipe (2nd District, Zamboanga City). 

- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News