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Bill wants flag flown at half mast for public school teachers who die

/ 01:02 AM March 20, 2014

House of Representatives. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—As a tribute to public school teachers, the Philippine flag could be flown at half mast at the schools or district office where they were assigned, for five days after they die, a bill filed at the House of Representatives and recently approved on second reading, states.

The lowering of the flag during the death of incumbent or retired public school teachers would “give due recognition and tribute to [their] selfless dedication.”

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This is among the amendments being sought to the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, which prescribes the rules on how the flag could be used and displayed, and on the playing and singing of the national anthem.

The proposal to lower the flag at half-mast for the teachers came from Pampanga Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao, who said in his bill that the public school teachers’ selfless dedication and commitment enable the free public education system to stand.

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Guiao noted that the Flag and Heraldic Code has allowed the flag to be flown at half mast for the death of high-ranking government officials. But such a tribute would also be appropriate for the public school teachers, he said.

“Doing the same for our public school teachers, who dedicate their lives in the service of education, is not only fitting but shows our country’s respect and admiration for our mentors,” he said.

Other new proposed provisions in the Flag and Heraldic Code include a section stating that those whose faith or religious beliefs prohibit them from singing the national anthem must show full respect when it is being sung or played on record by standing at full attention.

It also provides that officials of the Department of Education, Commission of Higher Education, and Technical Skills and Development Authority must ensure that all students of public and private schools should memorize the national anthem.

The bill also increases the fines for violation of the code to a minimum of P50,000 to a maximum to P100,000, and the jail term to a maximum of two years. The previous penalties were a P5,000-to-P20,000-fine and a one-year jail term.

Furthermore, the bill allows any citizen to arrest a person caught violating the code. Security personnel and ushers in movie houses are also allowed to arrest violators.

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TAGS: death of a public official, Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, flag flown at half mast, Honor, News, Philippine Flag, Public School Teachers
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