BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution requesting all government agencies and instrumentalities, local government offices, government-owned and controlled corporations and the different local government units and encouraging socio-civic groups, non-government organizations and the private sector to actively participate in the strict observance of the flag-lowering ceremony in their offices every Friday afternoon in accordance to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8491 or the National Flag Law.
The resolution states the compliance of government agencies, local government units and the private sector to the flag-lowering ceremony enshrined in the law has not been fully observed, thus, flag retreat or flag lowering has not been given the appropriate attention or even included in the activities of the said institutions every Friday afternoon.
The resolution claims there is a need to ensure all government officials and employees regularly give due respect to the Philippine flag and to provide the needed venue where the appropriate ceremony is conducted and that the same shall be their regular responsibility as public servants.
Section 8 and 22 of RA 8491 otherwise known as the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines provides it is a mandate of all government agencies and instrumentalities, local government offices, government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units to observe flag day and flag-lowering with appropriate ceremonies every Monday morning and Friday afternoon, respectively.
Further, the law also encouraged civic groups, non-government organizations and the private sector to cooperate in making the aforesaid celebrations successful and strengthening the nationalism and patriotism of the people.
The Civil Service Commission (SCS) also issued Memorandum Circular No. 19, series of 2012 in support to the provisions of RA 8491 which aims to ensure all government employees should show regular respect to the Philippine flag and to provide venue where appropriate ceremonies will be conducted and for them to be constantly reminded on how they must conduct themselves as public servants.
Moreover, department orders from different local government agencies and institutions had been issued and serve as their rules and regulations for such purpose and to ensure that employees from different government line agencies and offices to comply to such guidelines.
City legislators also raised the observation there are only few employees and officials who are attending the regular flag-lowering ceremony and that sometimes, it is only the security guard that had been observed to be lowering the flag every Friday afternoon, thus, the need for concerned offices to be able to assign the needed pool of employees who will take charge of the flag-lowering ceremony.
The City Council also reminded concerned offices to ensure the attendance of a certain number of employees to the regular flag-lowering ceremony every Friday pursuant to the provisions of the law.
By Dexter A. See