The reasons for the declaration of Martial Law on September 21,
1972 can be debated endlessly and are probably better left for historians.
Without doubt, the two years preceding Martial Law were among the
most tumultuous in the country's history. The government was besieged
by an armed rebellion in Luzon and a Muslim secessionist movement
in Mindanao. The frequency of violent attacks polarized political
parties to a point that paralyzed the decision-making process.
Presidential Proclamation No. 1081, the instrument for the declaration
of Martial Law, was explained as a means to "save the Republic
and reform society."
Golden Jubilee Celebration
Scouting activities leading to the celebration of the Golden Jubilee
of organized Scouting in 1973 went on unhampered by the declaration
of Martial Law. On February 9-11, 1973, some 3,000 Boy Scouts launched
a massive operation to clean the walls of Intramuros, a legacy from
the 400 years of Spanish rule, a project that the Manila Bulletin
(a local newspaper) described as "the introductory project
of the Golden Jubilee celebration." The boys camped at the
Sunken Gardens at night and worked during the day in a spectacular
display of civic concern. The cleanup job, which removed the unsightly
vegetation that had grown in the crevices of the historic wall,
presaged the government's restoration project to preserve the Spanish-type
houses inside. The Times Journal in its editorial on February 17,
1973 said, "The Boy Scouts are showing their elders what involvement
can accomplish. We can take a lesson from them."
There were two principal activities that marked the Golden Jubilee
celebration. One was the holding of the First Asia-Pacific Regional
Jamboree, which was made to coincide with the 5th National Jamboree
from December 28, 1973 to January 4, 1974. The other activity was
the publication of a Golden Jubilee issue of the Philippine Scouting
magazine, which was a veritable compilation of valuable information
about the growth of Scouting in the country.
February 23, 1973, President Marcos issued a memorandum defining
the new role of the BSP under Martial Law. The BSP, the President
said, would now engage "in promoting the various government
programs, notably the food production and the green revolution program,
the conservation and restoration program, the beautification, health,
and sanitation program, and the campaign against drug abuse."
He directed all government agencies to assist the Boy Scouts in
pursuing these tasks.
On May 22, 1974, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No.
460 which changed the leadership of the BSP completely and placed
the organization virtually under the Office of the President. The
decree amended Section 5 of Commonwealth Act No. 111, expanding
the composition of the National Executive Board to include, among
others, seven members of the cabinet, and gave the President the
final say on the private sector representation in the body. The
President also became the Chief Scout, a practice that continues
In justifying the amendments under PD 460, President Marcos said,
"recent events have shown that it has become necessary to effect
reforms in the organization in order to revitalize and strengthen
its operational capabilities, enhance its effectivenes as an instrument
to promote youth development program of the nation, and insure the
full support of all sectors of the community, public and private."
PD 460 was the governing law for the next 18 years, including all
the six year of the Aquino Administration.
The Trisectional Scouting program was introduced in 1975. Designed
to provide more opportunities for membership among out-of-school
youth, as well as those in-school, this started the Scout Citizen
concept which embodied the very essence of the "New Directions
of Philippine Scouting." The program gave more empahsis on
self-reliance. The sections were reduced from four to three namely:
KAB Scout, Service Scout, and Community Scout.
The KAB - Kabataan Alay sa Bayan (Youth Presented to the Nation)
has its program changed from the Cub Scout program. The ranks were
restructured to Membership, Lauan, Molave, and Narra Badges. The
Pagasa (Hope) Award being the highest for the section.
Service Scouting and Community Scouting was open to boys aged 11
to 17.5. The main difference was that Service Scouting was commonly
adopted in purely academically-oriented schools while Community
Scouting centered on the out-of-school youth and students from vocational,
technical, and agricultureal schools. The highest badge was named
the Scout Citizen Award.