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President Quezon's “Code of Citizenship and Ethics”

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In a time when the pork barrel scam has jolted local politics, and poverty and security threats burden the nation, a code of ethics for Filipinos prepared by then President Manuel L. Quezon has been re-issued by Malacañang.

 

The "Code of Citizenship and Ethics," consisting of 16 guiding principles, was posted on the official website of the Presidential Museum and Library on the occasion of the 135th birth anniversary of Quezon on August 19.

The civic and ethical principles included love of country, payment of taxes, and leading a clean and simple life.

"In the lead up to the 135th birth anniversary of President Quezon on August 19, 2013, the Presidential Museum and Library is sharing this Code of Ethics published generations ago but which remains strikingly relevant and true for our times," the Palace said.

 

The civic and ethical principles are the following:

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.Respect the Constitution 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 and that public officials comply with their duties.

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

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

6.Love and respect your parents. It is your duty to serve them gratefully and well.

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 or 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 conducive to economic security and adds to the wealth of the nation.

12.Rely on your own efforts for your progress and happiness. Be not easily discouraged. Persevere in the pursuit of your 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 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 conservation for posterity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.

 

Back in 1939, Quezon, the first President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, issued Executive Order No. 217 outlining this code of ethics that must be taught in all local schools. EO 217 was dated August 19, 1939 on the occasion of Quezon's 61st birthday.

The list was formulated by a committee of eminent citizens organized by Quezon. It eventually became a 71-page book, that included historical anecdotes and references to the virtues Filipinos have displayed throughout the years, according to the Palace.

"In a letter to the President printed as a preface to the book, the committee wrote, 'The life of a nation depends upon the moral and civic virtue of its citizens. Now, more than ever, when nations, great and small, are on the verge of collapse do we realize this fundamental truth,'" the Palace said. (Manila Bulletin)

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