TO show honor and appreciation to a great number of Filipinos who have shown nationalism, patriotism, and dedication in the field of sports, social, civic, and public services, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap filed a bill that would grant the covering of flags on the caskets of these esteemed individuals.
“Section 24 of Republic Act. No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines provides ways of honoring those who have died for the country and those who have rendered distinguished service, through the covering or draping of the Philippine flag in their caskets,” Duterte said.
However, Duterte added, the coverage of the privilege stated in the said section is only limited to former military and war veterans and to civilians “who have rendered distinguished service to the nation.”
House Bill No. 8577 aims to amend the said provision to read as follows: Section 24. The flag may be used to cover the caskets of the honored dead of the military, veterans of previous wars, national artists, and of civilians who have rendered distinguished service to the nation as may be determined by the local government unit concerned.
It added, in such cases, the flag shall be placed such that the white triangle shall be at the head and the blue portion shall cover the right side of the caskets. The flag shall not be lowered to the grave or allowed to touch the ground, but shall be folded solemnly and handed over to the heirs of the deceased.
“The Act seeks to broaden or expand the enumeration provided under Section 24 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, while distinguishing who are mandatory or discretionarily entitled to the said privilege. Most importantly, the said provision also limited such entitlement to those who are not guilty of any crimes involving moral turpitude,” Yap explained.
Yap further said that the draping of the national flag on the caskets could be mandatory or discretionary depending on the position the deceased formerly held in government or upon the decision of the family members and their relatives.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts shall formulate the implementing rules and regulations implementing the provisions of the Act upon its approval, Yap said.