MANILA - The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the proposed "revised Flag and Heraldic Code” of the Philippines, which aims to repeal Republic Act No. 8491.
The lawmakers voted 200-6-1 on the measure or House Bill No. 10323.
House lawmakers said the revised law was made in light of contemporary changes and to instill love of country.
The law would also underscore the importance of complying with standard expressions of respect for our national symbols, they added.
Here are some of the bill's key provisions:
- The bill expands the definition of important terms and prescribes the design of the national flag and provides for standards for flag requisition. - It mandates the hoisting and display of the flag and expands as well the coverage of government institutions and other places where the flag should be displayed.
- It expands the coverage on places where the flag should be permanently displayed.
- It prescribes the standards on the display of flag in private buildings and residences and on seafaring vessels.
- It prescribes the standard protocol when the Philippine flag is flown or displayed with another flag.
- It prescribes the proper use, disposal and replacement of worn out flag. -It provides for the appropriate time for flag raising and lowering as well as the manner of displaying and hoisting the flag.
- It prescribes the manner of displaying the flag, including its hoisting.
- It mandates the observance of flag-raising ceremony in public offices and educational institutions every Monday morning and the flag lowering ceremony every Friday afternoon.
- It provides for the mandatory singing of the national anthem during flag ceremony in all government offices and educational institutions.
The revised measure also expanded the coverage of government officials and personnel for whom the flag shall be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning on the day of official announcement of the death of any of the following officials:
- The president or a former President
- The incumbent and former Vice President
- The incumbent and former Chief Justice
- The incumbent and former President of the Senate
- The incumbent and former Speaker of the House of Representatives
- The incumbent and former members of the Supreme Court
- The incumbent and former members of the Cabinet
- The incumbent and former members of the Senate or the House of Representatives
- The incumbent and former elected LGU officials
- The incumbent school teacher and school administrator
Aside from these, the measure also provides that the flag may be used to cover the caskets of specific honored dead, either mandatory or discretionary for their distinguished service to the nation.
It also prescribes the appropriate pledge of allegiance and oath of patriotism to the Philippine flag.
The measure likewise declares the period from May 28 (National Flag Day) to June 12 (Independence Day) of each year as Flag Days during which period all public offices, business establishments, institutions of learning, and private homes are obligated to display the flag, including the following:
- April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan)
- Last Monday of August (National Heroes Day); November 30 (Bonifacio Day)
- December 30 (Rizal Day)
- and on such other days as may be declared by the President or local chief executives.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
It also expanded the coverage of prohibited acts for the inappropriate use, display and handling of the flag, anthem, seal, coat-of-arms, motto and other heraldic items and devices.
The proposed law, according to the lawmaker, also prescribes national anthem, its language and lyrics, the manner of singing, and the rendition of the national anthem in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.
It mandates the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to ensure that the national anthem, as adopted by law, shall be committed to memory by all students of both public and private educational institutions, and rendered during the flag ceremony conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations issued by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
The House will submit the bill to the Senate for its approval.