Solon urges to fast-track charter for the Boy Scouts of the Philippines

 A RANKING House member has urged Congress to fast-track the approval of a measure creating a charter for the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP).

Deputy Majority Leader Mar-Len Abigail Binay (2nd District, Makati City), author of  House Bill 6352, said the Boy Scouts of the Philippines should have a charter to develop and  achieve its goals in guiding the moral, civic and social development of the youth in this rapidly changing world.

The measure, to be known as the “Boy Scouts of the Philippines
Charter of 2012,” promotes through organization and cooperation with other agencies the ability of the Filipino youth to do useful things for themselves and others.

“Scouting or the skill of scout craft is one of the strongest means of promoting physical, moral and social growth in our children and youth.  As a tool to develop the various holistic traits in our children – from moral values and civic consciousness, to environment protection and civic responsibility,” Binay said.

Binay cited Section 13, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which encourages rearing children and youth towards civic consciousness and moral values so that they may be productive and patriotic members of society.

“Attempts to formulate an organized law for such purpose has existed since the 8th Congress, but under this bill, the new acting entity, the BSP, along with its powers, functions and duties will be redefined so that our Scouts may have a formal and organized corporation that is more attuned to the times and adapted to growing challenges they face,” Binay stressed.

It aims to train the Filipino youth in the attitudes, skills and the
habits of responsible citizenship and inculcate in their minds
patriotism, civic consciousness and responsibility, environmental
protection awareness and activities, courage, self-reliance,
selflessness, discipline and kindred virtues, as well as moral and
spiritual values, using the method, which are in common use by Scouts.

Under the bill, the BSP shall be governed by the National Executive Board to be composed of the Secretaries of the Departments of Education (DepEd) and Interior and Local Government (DILG), National President of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), Regional Chairmen of the geographical regions of the BSP, one senior/rover scout, 12 regular members to be elected by the National Council and 5 additional members from the private sector.

The bill also provides the establishment of a National Council which shall serve as the highest corporate policy making body of the BSP that shall manage the affairs and business of the corporation.

The BSP shall adopt distinct emblems, badges, uniforms, insignias and other equipment which shall be made available to and used only by the registered Scout or officials.  It also prohibits the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution and use of the Boy Scouts uniforms and paraphernalia.

Violators face 6 to 12 years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P200,000 to P500,000.

It shall be exempt from income tax pursuant to Section 30 (E), (G), and (H) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended; tax and/or duty exemption of donation from foreign countries as provided for under Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended and Section 109 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended; all direct and indirect taxes, including value-added tax (VAT) fees and other charges and payment of real property taxes.

All donations made to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) shall be exempt from donor’s tax and shall be deducted from the gross income of the donor for income tax purposes.

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