Cebu News

Dondon recognizes public workers for ‘serving the flag’

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Acting Cebu City Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros gave due recognition to all public servants who tirelessly serve the flag and country during the celebration of the National Flag Day at the Cebu City Hall grounds yesterday.

On March 6, 1965, Presidential Proclamation No. 374 was issued declaring May 28 as National Flag Day to commemorate the date the national emblem was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated the Spanish forces in the Battle at Alapan, Imus, Cavite in 1898.

On May 23, 1994, Executive Order No. 79 was issued extending the period of celebrating National Flag Day from May 28 to June 12 although the national government is hoping to extend this to even the end of the month of June.

A memo from the Department of Interior and Local Government also said that all Filipinos are encouraged to display the Philippine flag in all offices, agencies and instruments of government, business establishments, schools, and private homes throughout this period.

This is done in respect and reverence to our symbol of national sovereignty and solidarity.

“(Some) 124 years after it was first used for the victory of the Battle of Alapan, the Philippine flag remains an assertion of our identity. Filipino ko, amo ning natawhan. A piece of cloth, stitched with symbols and carefully chosen colors, becomes more than that when it is raised with pride,” Hontiveros said at the opening of his speech.

Hontiveros went on to say that the Philippine flag also becomes a symbol of hopes and dreams amid all struggles, adding that in times of peace, “we often forget what this powerful symbol stands for.”

“Today as we raise the same flag since it had been raised in 1898. We are lucky to do so without death in a war. And only because so many had shed its own blood to give this peace that we enjoyed today. We owe this to the heroes of history to respect the flag and not only on special occasions like today, but in our daily lives,” he said.

Hontiveros, a former professional basketball player, shared his experience representing the country and the joy it brings to the national athletes like him even without extra pay, not to mention the injuries they sometimes get in those competitions.

“I had played for the national teams many times. Kami nga nagduwa, playing for flag and country, mosugot ra gyud mig walay extra sweldo. Among sweldo always comes from our mother teams pero mag unhanay  gyud mig kinsay maka-represent. I take pride nga makigkumbati gyud mig bisan kinsa nga kontra,” he said.

But now that he is into public service, Hontiveros said there are other people who also deserve to be recognized for their loyalty to the flag.

“It is nothing compared to our fellow public servants nga motrabaho kada adlaw, especially our officers (representatives of the PNP and other divisions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the disaster team and workers at the City Hall and other government agencies) here,” he said.

He said that more often than not, those working in the government are not acknowledged for their efforts in serving fellow Filipinos.

“Ako, pabor kaayo nako kay kaila sila nako, but wala nila nailhan ang akong mga kauban na daghan na kaayong nabuhat nga serbisyo para sa mga tawo,” he said.

Hontiveros then asked the audience to give their warmest applause to all who continue to serve the country and the city even without proper acknowledgment and expressed hope that the public servants do their best as they could, with or without any praise.

“Sa kanato tanang mga public servants bisan dili mo ma-acknowledge, I hope we continue to do well, honor our constituents, we continue to serve kay that’s reason for celebrating or honoring the flag today. Even if dili ta ma-acknowledge, bisan di ta matagad pero in our daily lives, padayon atong pagserbisyo not only for our family, but for our flag and country,” he said. — JMD (FREEMAN)


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