Civics :what a Filipino citizen must know

the whole week my friends have been sending me funny texts on the trillanes incident, from a menu of pinasosang manok to tinirgas na baka; 7 reasons why trillanes should have gone to victoria court instead of manila pen ” dami wet towels for use against tear gas”…. after trillanes, i decided to write about civic action or what our citizens need to know about love of country.

since history is a better source of learning , i picked up the 1919 book of george malcolm and maximo kalaw on PHILIPPINE CIVICS, printed in the US and used widely when the Americans took over the archipelago. this book is part of the rare book collection of lucena citizens and belonged to marides villariba family (my sister in law is a granddaughter of the queblar-olivera clan). this book is part of  governance advocacy and citizen’s education. the americans laid down many rules and laws that influenced our leaders and our parents.

in the book introduction, george malcolm, justice of the supreme court of the philippines, stated his purpose as ” arousing love of country. he dedicated this book ” for the Philippines”. he wrote it with maximo kalaw, dean of UP college of liberal arts. the chapters covered various agenda that malcolm thought was necessary for filipinos to serve the country. it defined what is a government and then described its functions : community welfare, education, health, public welfare, protection of life and property, law and justice, agriculture and natural resources, commerce, communications, finance, elections, municipalities , the judicial power, external relations, the philippine citizen rights and obligations, great filipinos and philippine ideals. it is a slim book on government as constructed by the americans, 290 pages with fotos and illustrations. i read the pages trying to find any discussion on women’s rights and obligations. during the american term, a citizen was defined as ” a man” and women are to be protected, cannot vote nor be elected. as a feminist, i recommend this book as a source why women struggled to win the right to vote in 1935.

what did i find interesting that is relevant in our current crisis? the power of government during those times with a special chapter on Mindanao and Sulu. already the americans knew the value of mindanao and sulu. they wanted to explore its “unsurpassed” resources. they had the Bates Treaty signed by the Sultan of Sulu and put all of mindanao and sulu under military rule. it took two decades of military rule before the americans put a civil government in the Moro Province. there was a department of Mindanao and Sulu and then later in 1920, seven provinces were put under the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes.

fast forward to the current government, maybe wecan get all our mindanao leaders and military officers reviving this Bureau and name it Bureau of Non-Corrupt Tribes or Anti-Dynasty Department of Moro Republic, whatever will suit the citizens who want to be free of imperial Manila and prevent more plunder of its resources.

maybe i will send some of the chapters to the 50 representative groupies that pgma brought to spain and england; also to the politicians eating in Manila peninsula. first is the vocabulary. the word “government” comes from the Latin gubernaculum, a rudder for stirring a ship. then the twelve (12) civic virtues that a citizen should nurture ( with an ! in every word) : obedience ! cleanliness! orderliness! courtesy! helpfulness! punctuality! thoroughness! honesty! courage! perseverance! thrift ! THRIFT! is defined by the US Treasury Department as ” the good management of the business of living”.  how many of the richest families in the country observe thrift? especially in terms of carbon spending? di ba yun frugal use of earth resouces so that filipinos conserve, rather than waste?

and the final virtue – patriotism… now how many of our senators, congressmen and women, governors and mayors have these 12 civic virtues ?

before i close this blog, one should read its appendix, the Jones Law and what the Treaty of Paris contained. we must remember that Spain sold us to the US for $20 million dollars. the story is that this $20 million dollars is the exact amount needed to pay the creditors of Spain for the war bonds it floated; that it was the Vatican State that negotiated the Spanish debt payment thereby protecting properties of the Catholic Church and retaining it as a sole corporation.church properties are exempted from taxes and duties. there is a line in the Jones law that specified excluding friar land bonds. could these be the terms that the Catholic church negotiated with the Americans ? the Catholic church properties in the Philippines have been the most productive and contentious of all. maybe i should interview our eminent lawyers and check what sole corporation means. social development actors can surely learn the merits of sole corporations and save souls. after all, the Roman Catholic church has been with us for two thousand years. it is the best school for business administration. Tagging the institute for social entreprenuership in their trinity of goals : social, environmental and financial profits, “Please study how business has become the religious corporations’ core competence”.

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