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The House of Representatives has approved on final reading a bill which seeks to strengthen the rules on the use and display of the country’s national symbols, as well as the proper rendition of the national anthem, “Lupang Hinirang.”
With 212 votes on the affirmative, the lower chamber unanimously approved House Bill 5224, expressly repealing Republic Act 8491 or the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.”
HB 5224, or the proposed “Revised Flag and Heraldic Code,” confirms the official design of the Philippine flag — blue, white and red with an eight-rayed golden-yellow sun and three five-pointed stars — which must be consecrated and honored by the people.
The bill mandates that the Philippine flag be hoisted all throughout the year in front of government institutions and other places such as the Malacañang Palace, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and the Rizal Monument in Luneta, among others.
The bill declares as Flag Days the period from May 28 (National Flag Day) to June 12 (Independence Day) of each year.
During the Flag Days, all government offices, business establishments, learning institutions, and private homes are obligated to display the Philippine flag and observe proper ceremonies.
As for private buildings and residences, the Philippine flag shall be displayed during the following events: Araw ng Kagitingan — April 9; Labor Day — May 1; National Flag Day — May 28; Independence Day — June 12; National Heroes’ Day — last Monday of August; Bonifacio Day — November 30; and Rizal Day — December 30.
All government offices and educational institutions shall observe the flag-raising ceremony every Monday morning and the flag-lowering every Friday afternoon.
HB 5224 also seeks to expand the coverage of government officials wherein the flag shall be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning on the day of the announcement of the death of the following officials: President or a former President; incumbent and former Vice President; Chief Justice; Senate President; and House Speaker on all buildings and places where the deceased held office.
Furthermore, the flag shall also be flown at half-mast on the day of the official announcement of the death of an incumbent public school teacher on Department of Education schools or district offices where the deceased was assigned to teach. 

Police arrest man on DND wanted list in Cotabato City

Monday, 26 June 2017 00:00 Published in Nation

COTABATO CITY — Police here have arrested a 42-year-old man for drug pushing but it was learned later that he was included on the Department of National Defense wanted persons.
Arrested by joint police and anti-narcotics agents was Mamatanto Ampatuan during anti-drug operations along Sinsuat Avenue, Rosary Heights 10, Cotabato City at 11 a.m. yesterday.
Ampatuan was included on the list of personalities the DND ordered to be arrested in connection with terrorism that hit Marawi City. He was on the list of DND’s Arrest, Search and Seizure Order.
Senior Supt. Victor Valencia, city police director, told reporters the anti-drug operation resulted in the recovery of a huge amount of shabu, drug paraphernalia, a mobile phone, P5,700 cash marked money and a motorcycle.
The suspect is now detained at the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao lock up cell. He will face charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Valencia also announced the arrest of a construction foreman for possession of firearms while police were implementing curfew hours.
Valencia identified the suspect as Jeffrey Comaengking, 32, a resident of Peñafrancia Villega, Rosary Heights 11, Cotabato City.
Seized from Comaengking were cal. 5.56 pistol and ammunition without legal documents.       

BOCAUE, Bulacan — While agreeing on the good intention of President Duterte’s signing of Executive Order (EO) 28 — limiting the use of firecrackers to community fireworks display — the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) is appealing to the Chief Executive to consider their proposals aimed at uplifting the local fireworks industry through science and technology.
“The pyrotechnic industry is more on science and technology and through science, injuries can be avoided. Confining it to a designated zone is not a long-term solution because lighting of fireworks is a centuries-old tradition of Filipinos,” Celso Cruz, chairman emeritus of PPMDAI, said.
The EO stated that because of the firecracker-related injuries and deaths, “the promulgation of stricter national standards, rules and regulations is warranted.”
It was signed by Duterte on June 20, 2017.
The PPMDAI, however, said they are hoping that the Chief Executive will review the EO which the group said is provided under Republic Act 7183 which states that the “industry should be uplifted to enhance cultural heritage and tradition.”
“We understand the good intention of our President. However, there are things that should be considered. The lightning of firecrackers is part of the traditions which cannot stop immediately,” Cruz said.
He said that even before Duterte assumed presidency, previous administrations have already banned the deadly “picolo,” the major culprit in the number of firecracker-related injuries.”
“Picolo has long been banned but until now it is still the cause of firecracker injuries,” Cruz said.
He said that the government, through the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), is helping the PPMDAI and the local fireworks industry to be safer and at par with global standards.
“The PNP, which is the administrator of RA 7183, has already came up with its Implementing Rules and Regulation. In coordination with the PNP-Civil Security Group, the PPMDAI is regularly conducting safety training seminars on the manufacture and sale of fireworks and pyrotechnics. No safety seminar, no permit. And the PNP is very strict on this. The DoST, on the other hand, is willing to fund the uplifting of local fireworks by making it at par with international standards by producing safe and quality products,” Cruz said.
Likewise, he said that the PNP and the PPMDAI have long been working as partners to make the local fireworks industry safe and its workers as professionals.
“The DoST is also willing to make the industry more globally competitive,” he added.
Cruz, a chemical engineer, said the government should have experts on the pyrotechnics industry.
He said that there must be a government body that should have experts and properly trained staff who fully well know the industry and how to make it safer and globally competitive.
A PPMDAI official also told local newsmen that even during the time when it was still outlawed and even at the time of the martial law period of then President Marcos, the local fireworks industry still managed to survive.                

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