Memorandum Circular No. 52, which was issued by President Bongbong Marcos, decrees the inclusion of the Bagong Pilipinas hymn and pledge during flag ceremonies and all other official activities of all government offices and agencies including schools.

Bagong Pilipinas is the brand of governance that the current administration is trying to push and initiate. As it is, Bagong Pilipinas “envisioned to empower Filipinos to support and participate in all government efforts in an all-inclusive plan towards deep and fundamental social and economic transformation in all sectors of society and government.”

Branding is usually associated with new companies and products entering a market, be it local or international. It is normal and an industry practice. It sounds fetish though in a democratic government that is trying to serve its people like the administration of President Bongbong Marcos.

While several government agencies have started singing and reciting the hymn and the pledge including the House of Representatives, the Senate to date is still studying its inclusion after all the memorandum simply encourages and not necessarily requires its execution.

The meat of the movement is social transformation and inclusivity. While every movement necessitates a beginning, transforming the lives of Filipinos by way of a song and pledge is not just impossible as it rather entails waste of time and use of government money and resources from the hiring of a PR agency to the hiring of a production firm to implement it. The assurance of change is not just minimal as it is close to nothing.

Social transformation is process of actual policies and programs that involves the core values of the people, their socio-economic conditions, and the availability of opportunities in the communities where they live every day. It is never about a song and a pledge as the people would rather wish that the millions of pesos spent to come up with a song and a pledge could have been used to fund programs that could help them earn a living.

The President is seeking an all-inclusive plan and effort to promote social and economic transformation. Best effort, he could eventually clean the mess left by his late father but he simply cannot do it with a hymn.