BBM Bagong Pinas order ‘deficient’

BBM Bagong Pinas order ‘deficient’

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s memorandum circular mandating government offices and public schools to include the singing of the “Bagong Pilipinas” hymn and reciting its accompanying pledge during the flag ceremony was not enough to make it mandatory.

This was stressed by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday, suggesting instead that a bill be legislated to carry out the order.

“I suggest that the executive branch submit a bill containing those ideas (to sing a new song and recite a new pledge) to amend the existing law(s) governing the national anthem, pledge, and flag-raising ceremonies,” Pimentel said.

“The EO (executive order) is not sufficient. I believe a law is needed in order to authorize that,” he said. According to him, this is because the singing of “Bagong Pilipinas” and the recitation of the pledge “involves the way of thinking of the people.”

“Hence, such a mandate must emanate from the people’s chosen representatives, their legislators. Also notice that the memorandum circular involves SUCs (state universities and colleges),” he said.

“The students therein are not even government employees. They all observe the established flag ceremony under existing law,” he added.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino said the Senate has yet to include the “Bagong Pilipinas” hymn and pledge in its weekly flag ceremony.

“That might not be in place yet because the directive was just given and it might still need to be clarified when it will take effect,” Tolentino said.

He noted that the memorandum should also clarify whether the legislative and judiciary branches are required to adhere to it.

“The question here is whether it applies only to the executive branch or to everyone since the judiciary and the legislature are separate, so that needs to be clarified as well,” he said.

On Sunday, Malacañang released MC 52, which was signed on 4 June, directing “all national government agencies and instrumentalities, including GOCCs (government-owned and -controlled corporations) and educational institutions, such as SUCs,” as well as local government units “to integrate the recital of the Bagong Pilipinas Hymn and Pledge in the conduct of the weekly flag ceremonies, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.”

A teachers’ group on Monday also expressed its opposition to the directive on the Bagong Pilipinas hymn from the Palace.

“We find this move impractical and unnecessary, and it is reminiscent of the political propaganda tactics seen during the martial law years,” Benjo Basas, national chairperson of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition, said in a statement.

Basas said the initiative is a superficial attempt to instill a brand of governance that, instead of genuinely educating schoolchildren about nationalism and patriotism through the exemplary lives of our national leaders, resorts to mandatory recitations and songs.

Daily Tribune