Orderly conduct, not punishment stressed in ‘Disiplina Muna’ drive launched in Cordillera | Inquirer News
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Orderly conduct, not punishment stressed in ‘Disiplina Muna’ drive launched in Cordillera

/ 05:03 PM July 22, 2020

BAGUIO CITY — Discipline during the quarantine should not be perceived as punishment, an Army official said during the Cordillera launch of the government’s “Disiplina Muna” advocacy campaign on Tuesday, July 22.

The program espoused community discipline “as a foundation for nation-building” when it was first introduced in 2019 by the Department of The Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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Its latest incarnation also promotes the minimal health standards required to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who was a guest at the event, said Baguio residents exhibited “self-restraint and discipline” by staying indoors, wearing masks in public, and avoiding crowds during the Luzon lockdown and the subsequent stages of quarantine.

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The mayor said this communal behavior ensures that the summer capital would beat the virus.

But people should not perceive discipline as a consequence of bad behavior, said Brig. Gen. Henry Dayaoen, commander of the Army’s 503rd Infantry Brigade, who spoke at the program.

In the war against the virus, discipline should be carried out “through positive reinforcement,” he advised Cordillera officials, who participated in the program through video conferencing from their home provinces.

“We have this wrong practice of warning misbehaving children or erring soldiers that they would be disciplined, which is punishment and that is wrong,” Dayaoen said.

Children react to uniformed personnel with fear or submission, which could be traced to how communities explain discipline, he added.

Most people define discipline “as the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior using punishment to correct disobedience,” Dayaoen said, which is a bad connotation for the advocacy.

The military had since redefined discipline as “a state of order and obedience existing within a command and self-discipline is where soldiers do the right thing even in the absence of a commander,” the general said.

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“My father (a master sergeant) defined it to me in two words: discipline is orderly conduct. Tamang asal tamang pag-uugali (Proper conduct, Proper behavior),” Dayaoen said, stressing that individual actions particularly during the quarantine would affect the rest of society.

Magalong was dubbed as the Cordillera’s “discipline ambassador,” during the program, but the retired police general joked in his speech that he was often chastised by his parents growing up because he had “no discipline.”

Edited by LZB

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