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Man ‘serious about ending hunger in PH’ gets called out for using PH flag as accessory

Unlike other countries where you can see the national flag being used on almost every merchandise and apparel you could possibly think of and hear people call it “patriotic,” the Philippines has a law that protects it from being misused and disrespected.

There have been instances where the use of Philippine flag sparked debate and uproar in the country, and one of the notable moments was when Madonna performed while the national symbol was draped around herself during her concert in Manila last 2016. The “disrespectful” act even almost got her banned from the country.

via YouTube

Recently, a man who claims to be “serious about wanting to end hunger in the Philippines” found himself in hot seat for sharing photos of him with the flag draped on his shoulder.

On Twitter, Marc Dorotheo shared his desire to end hunger in the country by providing meals for those in need in exchange for every purchase on Four Manila, an online apparel store he founded. While his intentions to give back to the community and help feed the poor may seem genuine, a lot people called him out for using the national flag on his photos.

According to the Section 34 (e) of R.A. 8491 or the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines,” it is prohibited “to wear the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform”. You can see the list of all prohibited acts below:

Violators of any of the said acts shall be subjected to penalties as stated on the Section 50 of the law:

“Any person or juridical entity which violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000), or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court: Provided, That for any second and additional offenses, both fine and imprisonment shall always be imposed: Provided, further, That in case the violation is committed by a juridical person, its President or Chief Executive Officer thereof shall be liable.”

Despite many who pointed out that using the flag as accessory is against the law, Dorotheo defended that he did not disrespect the flag and he’s just “proud of [his] heritage and of being Filipino.”

“I’m not chasing fame, money, whatever. I have fallen in love with the flag (insert your jokes now), and everything it represents that when it’s displayed, I feel even more courageous,” said Dorotheo when asked on social network platform, Curiouscat.

via curiouscat.me/MarcDorotheo

Some people were also questioning the legitimacy and the sustainability of his project and how it can really help “end hunger” in the country without solid plans and partnership with Philippine institutions that actually work on solving hunger in the country.

Others said that they see Dorotheo’s advocacy as a “band-aid humanitarian solution that comes off to me as a gimmick to increase shirt sales” and suggested means on how he can really help giving solutions to hunger in the country.

But to add fuel to the fire, it seems that Dorotheo has carried his fondness of the flag not just on his shoulders but also on the logo of Four Manila—a violation to the Section 34 (c, 6) which prohibits the use of the flag “as trademarks, or for industrial, commercial or agricultural labels or designs”.

With this, he said that he’s making sure not to sure the PH flag moving forward.

Meanwhile, some Pinoys saw Dorotheo’s tweet as an opportunity to make another meme on Twitter and end other relevant issues in the country.

Dorotheo said that he already reached out to National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) via email and will take actions once a conclusion has been made.


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