Senator Sonny Angara is urging the country’s defense and veterans’ affairs officials to consider coming out with documentaries about the exploits of our war heroes that have either been forgotten or have never been told.

Currently, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) has been undertaking efforts to inculcate love of country among children through its Love of Country Builders program, which involves the construction of shrines and other facilities, the commemoration of historical events, and the publication of books and articles about the heroic deeds of the veterans.

Angara, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, told the PVAO to consider producing documentaries on the historical and modern day heroes, which he said would have a greater impact on its target audience.

“Video is a very potent and effective medium. Unti-unti na nakakalimutan ang mga nagawa ng ating mga ninuno para sa ating bayan. Karamihan sa mga kabataan natin ay wala nang alam tungkol sa mga sakripisyo nila. I believe that video is a very potent and effective medium to reintroduce their heroic deeds to our children,” the veteran legislator said.

“Video is a very potent and effective medium to reintroduce their heroic deeds to our children.” 

The seasoned lawmaker said these documentaries could be shown during holidays such as the Araw ng Kagitingan and in other occasions as necessary.

The senator noted how countries such as the United States have been very effective with its advertising campaigns on the military. The ads are very well produced and instill a lot of pride in the different service branches of the military. In many of these ads, civilians are encouraged to enlist as a viable career choice.

He noted that Hollywood is also doing its part by constantly coming out with films glamorizing the military.

“We don’t show the heroic exploits of our armed personnel. When we come out with documentaries, these will be played over and over again. Once you make that movie, you put it online, you put it on Netflix and it’s there forever,” Angara said.

“Once you make that movie, you put it online, you put it on Netflix and it’s there forever.”

He said there is a lot of material for the documentary makers to gather inspiration from– ranging from the heroes of World War II to the heroes of the Marawi siege.

PVAO Administrator Ernesto Carolina told the Senate Committee on Finance in a briefing on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense that almost all of the films produced locally deal with the Spanish revolution.

Carolina said that coming up with materials on World War II is more difficult because most of the documents, messages and even diaries during that period were taken by the Americans.

He said the PVAO has been able to retrieve around two-thirds of these documents and have converted these into seven books.

Since most of the books on World War II were written by Americans, Carolina said they saw it fit to come out with a different account of the events, told from the viewpoint of Filipinos.

He stressed PVAO needs financial support to continue the Love of Country Builders program because of cuts implemented by the executive branch on its budget.

Carolina said that less than one percent of the PVAO’s budget goes to the Love of Country Builders program.

He explained that the Department of Budget and Management has removed the congressional initiatives in the national budget, including the support for the Love of Country Builders program “so slowly the gains of the past are being eroded.”

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