Sunday, February 24, 2008

Moral Discipline


(Quoted from Prof. Emmanuel Q. Yap's book "Let Us Build A Strong Nation", 1st Edition, 2003).

The late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos came out with a similar slogan thus:

"SA IKAUUNLAD NG BAYAN DISCIPLINA ANG KAILANGAN" (For the nation's progress discipline is needed)

The big difference though between these two (2) slogans is the omission of the all important word "MORAL" in the latter. Consequently, during dictatorship, we were subjected to all kinds of disciplinary actions, moral or immoral, to attain the ends of the dictator.

There is no question though that "moral discipline" is the only sure way to national greatness.

How do we acquire as a nation and as a people, this moral discipline?

As early as 1939, then President Manuel L. Quezon formed a Moral Code Committee (composed of Chief Justice Ramon Avancena as Chairman, Dr. Jose P. Laurel, Manuel A. Roxas, Jorge C. Bocobo, Norberto Romuladez, Members). Adopting the report of this Committee, President Quezon issued Executive Order No. 217 (Moral Code, 1939), the principal provisions of which reads:


1. Have faith in Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affections and the source of your happiness and well-being. Its defense is your primary duty. Be ready at all times to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Rspect the Commission which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligation.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the majority.

6. Love and respect your parents.

7. Value your honor as you value your life. Poverty with honor is preferable to wealth with dishonor.

8. Be truthful and be honest in thought and in action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified in your dealings with your fellow men.

9. Lead a clean and frugal life. Do not indulge in frivolity and pretense. Be simple in your dress and modest in your behavior.

10. Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Venerate the memory of our heroes. Their lives point the way to duty and honor.

11. Be industrious. Be not afraid or ashamed to do manual labor. Productive toil is conductive to economic security and adds to the wealth of the nation.

12. Rely in your own efforts for your progress and happiness. Be not easily discouraged. Persevere in the pursuit of you legitimate ambitions.

13. Do your work cheerfully, thoroughly and well. Work badly done is worse than work undone. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

14. Contribute to the welfare of your community and promote social justice. You do not live for yourselves and your families alone. You are a part of a society to which you owe definite responsibilities.

15. Cultivate the habit of using goods made in the Philippines. Patronize the products and trades of your countrymen.

16. Use and develop our natural resources and conserve them for prosperity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.

Seventy-nine (79) years have passed since this "Moral Code" was formulated. Today, in the year 2008, we are facing the same, and even more serious social, political and economic problems far more urgent that confronted our nation in 1939.

It is submitted that to make this "moral discipline" concept more readily understood. We should go back to the BASIC TEN (10)- the universally accepted moral code coming no less from our Creator and Lord and Master- God.

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