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‘Bagong Pilipinas’ song required in flag ceremonies

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has ordered all national government agencies and instrumentalities to include the recital of the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge in their weekly flag ceremonies – a move reminiscent of a similar requirement to sing the Bagong Lipunan anthem during martial law.

The directive, which also covers government-owned or controlled corporations and educational institutions, is contained in Memorandum Circular 52 signed on June 4 by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin by the authority of President Marcos.

Bagong Pilipinas is the governance brand of the Marcos administration. It aims to achieve a deep transformation in society and emphasizes the government’s commitment to undertake policy reforms.

Malacañang said the campaign is “characterized by a principled, accountable and dependable government, reinforced by unified institutions of society.” 

The memorandum directed all national government agencies and instrumentalities and encouraged local governments to “integrate the recital of the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge in the conduct of weekly flag ceremonies, subject to existing laws and rules and regulations.” It aims “to further instill the principles of the Bagong Pilipinas brand of governance and leadership among Filipinos.”

“For this purpose, the heads of all national government agencies and instrumentalities shall ensure that the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge, which are annexed to this circular, are properly disseminated within their respective institutions and offices,” the memorandum read.

Section 18 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines required all government offices to hold a flag raising ceremony every Monday morning and flag lowering ceremony every Friday afternoon.

The Presidential Communications Office, the government’s lead communication arm, was tasked to relay and disseminate the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge to all government offices and the public.

A similar directive was issued during the time of the President’s late father and namesake Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who put forward a vision for a “new society” or bagong lipunan.

The elder Marcos’ administration required the singing of “Bagong Lipunan” – an