SEC. 22. The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. Rights of Indigeneous cultural communities. As used in the Constitution, the term “indigenous cultural communities” refers to non-dominant groups in our country which possess and wish to preserve ethnic, religious or linguistic traditions or characteristic markedly different from the rest of the population. Section 22 recognizes constitutionally the existence and rights of the indigenous cultural communities.
It directs the State to promote their rights within the framework of national unity. Thus, the State is bound to consider the customs, traditions, beliefs and interests of indigenous cultural minorities in the formulation and implementation of State policies and programs. In a multi-ethnic society like ours, the above provision is necessary in promoting the goal of national unity and development. (see Art XVI, Sec. 12) Under provision, the government may even enact the laws especially for them taking into account their customs, traditions, beliefs and interests. H. de Leon, Phil. Constitution 2005, pp. 67-68) SEC. 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental, community-based or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation. Non-governmental, community-based or sectoral organizations The State is required to encourage these organizations because recent events have shown that, under responsible leadership, they can be active contributors to the political, social and economic growth of the country.
It should refrain from any actuation that would tend to interfere or subvert the rights of these organizations which in the words of the Constitution are community-based or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation. (Ibid, p. 68) This topic is discussed at the length under Article XIII (Social Justice and Human Rights), Sections 15 and 16 which categorically state the role and rights of people’s organizations as vehicle to enable the people to participate and intervene meaningfully and effectively in decisions which directly affect their lives. (Ibid. p. 68) SEC. 24.
The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building. Vital role of communication and information in nation-building. Communication and information, as used above, include not only print or broadcast media (radio and television) but also motion pictures, advertising, cable, telephone and telegraph. Those means of communication designed to gather and convey news or in the formation to the public are called mass media because they reach the mass of the people. (see Art. XVI, Sec. 11. That they play a critical role in nation-building is very obvious. 1) Formation of an enlightened citizenry. – Mass media shape people’s thoughts and beliefs, their attitudes and values. In a country like the Philippines composed of people with diverse cultures, they can be an effective instrument in promoting national integration and preserving Filipino values and traditions. By educating the citizenry on important public issues, they also help create a strong, vigilant and enlightened public opinion so essential to the successful operation of a republican democracy. (2) Promotion of effiency and economy in government and business. Information and communication can be used to link our geographically dispersed population an effect faster delivery of educational, medical and other public services in remote areas of the country. In any organization, ready information maximizes internal efficiency. Particularly in business, it reduces cost of production and services. (3) Development of society. – On the material side, it is difficult to imagine a progressive country, in today’s world of high-tech computers, internets, cyberspace and information highways, with antiquated ommunication and information structures. In the last few years, the world has witnessed a steady stream of a technological progress in the field. The Philippines must keep abreast of communication innovations but at the same time be selective and discriminating to insure that only those “suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation” (Ibid. : Sec. 10) are adapted. Utilized and managed wisely and efficiently, communication and information are very useful tools for the economic, social, cultural and political development of society. (H. de Leon, Phil. Constitution, p. 9) Sec. 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments. Autonomy of local governments R. A. 7160, known as the Local Government Code, enacted on January 1, 1992 covers all matters concerning local governments and political subdivisions. Sec. 26. The state shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law. Equal access opportunities for public service This topic discussed under Article VI Legislative Department, Sections 4, 5, and 7 and Article X (Local Government), Section 8.
Additionally: (1) Limitation of terms of office. – The provisions limiting the terms of office of elective officials (President, Vice President, Senators, Representative and local officials) enhance equal access to political opportunities although they may not completely do way with evils spawned political dynasties that proliferated in the country in the past. With his political and economic resources, an elective official can have a close kin or follower run for the latter.
Hence, the need for a declaration expressly prohibiting a political dynasties. (2) Prohibition of political dynasties. – The constitutional policy on the prohibition of political dynasties expresses a national commitment to democratize election and appointment to positions in the government and eliminate a principal obstacle to “equal opportunities for public service”. It is not uncommon to have the most of the top elective positions in a province (or city) down to barangays occupied by one family and close relatives of the family members.
Politicians form husband-wife teams, or father-mother, son-daughter teams and hold to elective positions for decades. The dominance of political families in the past not only kept more deserving but poor individuals from running or winning in elections; it also enabled powerful and affluent politicians to corner appointive positions for their relatives and followers as it they alone are gifted with the ability to serve the country. (3) Prohibition constitutionally mandated. The law implementing the constitutional policy shall define what constitutes political dynasties, having in mind of evils sought to be eradicated and the need to insure the widest possible base for the selection of elective government officials regardless of political, economic and social status. Note that the State is expressly mandated to prohibit “political dynasties”. Congress has no discretion on the matter except merely to spell out the meaning and scope of the term. (deLeon,2005,p. 0). Sec. 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption. Honesty and Integrity in public service (1) The perennial problem of graft and corruption. – In the Philippines, every new administration since the postwar period has made a pledge to eradicate graft and corruption in government. The popular perception, however, is that this baneful ill has become more rampant and sophisticated through years.
To be sure, the above provision was incorporated in the Constitution because of revelations of “unprecendented magnitude” of graft and corruption allegedly perpetrated by officials in the highest circle of the government during the previous regime. (2) Ways to attack problem. – The malady of graft and corruption must be eliminated or at least minimize to a tolerable degree because of the staggering amount of public money that has been lost through it.
What is needed is moral leadership by example on the part of the top officials in the government and a continuing, the public service which have considerably slowed down the socio-economic progress of our country. Having the honest Presidents with the best intentions is not enough to reduce corruption to minimal proportions. This perennial problem cannot be solve by mere empty promises and congressional inquiries, but by prosecuting without the fear or favor and putting behind bars so-called “big-fishes” found to be involve as concrete examples of the government’s determination to achieve decency in the public service.
Any campaign against the scourge of society will be made more effective if accompanied by a morality crusade. (3) Need for honesty and integrity in public service. – The fulfillment of the constitutional mandate will go a long way in strengthening the peoples trust in the government and its leaders. It will also ensure the efficient use of the meager resources available for national development. (deLeon,2005,pp. 71-72) Sec. 28.
Subject to a reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the state adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. Full Disclosure by the State of all it’s transactions. 1. Duty of the State – Sec. 7 of the bill of rights guarantees the people’s right of information on matters of public concern and access to records pertaining to official transactions of the government. In the other hand, Sec. 28 requires the State to make public it’s transactions without demand from individual citizens.
It stresses the duty of the State to release the information. 2. Transaction covered – The policy covers all State transactions involving public interests, i. e. , transactions which the people have a right to know particularly those involving expenditures of public funds. The law, however, may prescribed reasonable conditions for the disclosure to guard against improper or unjustified exercise of the right. The policy will not apply to records involving the security of the State or which are confidential in character. (H. de Leon, Phil. Constitution, pp. 64-72)
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