Sunday, July 12, 2020

Did NHCP Violate A Law On National Flag Day?

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ICYDK, the National Flag Day is an annual occasion that begins on May 28 and ends on June 12, Independence Day.

It is a commemoration of the first time the Philippine flag was raised during the battle in Alapan, Imus, Cavite back in the Spanish colonial period.

While the world fights the pandemic, the active observance to this historical event has prevailed.

So to speak, the national emblem was displayed yesterday at a public event lead by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

Despite NHCP’s effort to pay respect to the event, the Philippine flag-themed face masks have captured more attention from the netizens.

Filipinos at home were quick enough to call out that the government agency carrying the most responsibility towards this subject have violated the law. How can the leaders take charge when they can’t even comply with the regulations they have implemented themselves?

But first, let’s dissect the facts.

Republic Act No. 8491 Sec. 34 states that citizens of the Philippines are prohibited to use the national flag as a fashion piece. On the National Flag Day itself, these attendees have showed disregard to the law.

There is an exception, though. According to the this document (see page 10) provided by the House of Representatives, wearing the flag as a fashion accessory or as a uniform is acceptable as long as it is approved by the NHCP.

Over the course of this administration, we have witnessed officials being pardoned due to various reasons such as “honest mistake”, birthday parties, and other technicalities.

So, is this situation going to be different from the aforementioned controversies? Technically speaking, they have used the exemption card. On the other hand, perhaps NHCP thought that it would be appropriate to don face masks inspired by the national emblem amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that it could be a symbolism of the country’s fight against the current global crisis.

COVID-19 has greatly affected the lives of people across the world. It is a faceless enemy that we have yet to overcome. Back in the era of world wars, warriors have geared themselves with deadly weapons. Right now, the most important weapon we have to equip ourselves with for this fight is our heightened awareness of our environment and the information we consume.

Photo Source: Facebook/nhcp1933

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