TAGBILARAN CITY, January 12, (PIA)–Bohol legislature has decided they had enough of the haphazard honor and respect communities are giving to the national anthem in public gatherings.
With the rising trend of using audio visual presentations of the National Anthem with cinematographic dramatizations and projected on wide screens, Bohol Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP-Bohol) saw this as more of dishonoring the flag and the country’s history than the assumed aesthetics of canned music.
The SP has pushed for Ordinance No. 007-2017, which mandates event organizers, government offices, Local Government Units, schools, hospitals, institutions and organizations need to give full honor and respect to the national emblems and hymns here.
The same proposed ordinance which is now on to the third and final reading now, prohibits the use of any audio visual presentation as background, except only when only depicting the Philippine Flag whether in stationary or waving presentation with or without projected lyrics when playing the Philippine National Anthem in public places.
Introduced by Board Members Kristine Alexie B. Tutor and sponsored by BM Gloria B. Gementiza, co-sponsored by BM Ricky B. Masamayor and BM Jade A. Bautista, the ordinance intends to ban the showing of pictures and dramatizations or other audio visual presentations as background.
BM Tutor said that prior to the drafting of the ordinance, it was referred to the Center for Culture and the Arts of the Office of the Governor, who in turn asked the SP to check with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for advice.
The proponents also wanted to know if the power to prohibit the showing of videos fall within the ambits of the SP.
In response, the NHCP, through Acting Executive Director Ludovico D. Badoy told them “there is no provision in Republic Act 8491 that prohibits the use of Audio Visual Presentation (AVP) depicting the Philippine Flag and Anthem as backdrop during flag raising, and it is still within the authority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol to pass such ordinance.”
If it passes muster for the third and final reading and goes through the regular process for ordinances with penal provisions, institutions found to violate the ordinance can be fined.
While the ordinance allows stern warning for first time offenders, the second offense would be P2,000.00 fine while the third and succeeding offenses are P3,000.00, to be paid to the Local Treasurer’s Office of the Local Government Unit concerned.
And if an institution has unknowingly violated the ordinance when its sound system operator unknowingly played the prohibited video, by the doctrine of command responsibility, the institution is liable.
“If there will be a concert in the plaza, sponsored by a private company and unfortunately, the operator of the sound system or the electronic gadgets automatically played the national anthem with some pictures, it should be the private company who would be liable. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)