'Impractical and unnecessary': Teachers oppose Bagong Pilipinas song, pledge directive

A group of teachers on Monday, June 10, opposed Malacañang's recent directive mandating the inclusion of the "Bagong Pilipinas" hymn and pledge in weekly flag ceremonies in schools and government offices.

PH flag Ali Vicoy.jpg
(ALI VICOY / Manila Bulletin / file photo) 

“We find this move impractical and unnecessary, reminiscent of the political propaganda tactics seen during the Martial Law years,” said the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) in a statement.

For the group, the initiative is a “superficial attempt” to instill a brand of governance that, instead of genuinely educating schoolchildren about nationalism and patriotism through the exemplary lives of our national leaders, resorts to mandatory recitations and songs.

“True nationalism and patriotism cannot be enforced through hollow rituals or the blind worship of national symbols, let alone a piece of propaganda,” TDC said.

“Singing, dancing, or kneeling before statues or monuments does not embody true nationalism and patriotism,” it added.

For TDC, people in power must be “responsive and responsible, exhibiting genuine love for the country through their respect for human rights, adherence to the rule of law, and active fight against corruption.”

“They must foster social justice through meaningful actions and legislation, not through the forced singing of a propaganda song and the recital of a pledge that appears redundant,” TDC said.

For the group, the “best way” to teach children about nationalism and patriotism is to show them leaders who lead by example, demonstrating their commitment to the country through their actions, policies, and dedication to public service.

“This is the kind of governance that will truly inspire and educate the youth,” TDC said.

TDC maintained that the national anthem is the most fitting song for children and people to sing, especially its final line: "Ang mamatay nang dahil sa'yo."

This line, the group said, embodies “true love and sacrifice” for the country — qualities that are “unfortunately absent in many of our government officials.”