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The Philippines Chamber of Deputies has approved on third and final reading House Bill 5408 to amend the Administrative Code of 1987 to change the commemoration date of the Rizal Day public holiday from December 30 (the date when he was executed) to June 19 (his birthday).
The December 30 observance of Rizal Day traces its historical roots to a decree issued on December 20, 1898 by President Emilio Aguinaldo, which actually declared December 30 of each year as a day of national mourning. This day of mourning was then declared one of the official holidays of the Philippines by Act No. 245 of the Philippine Commission, signed on February 1, 1902.
We had reported on this bill, earlier this year (2009-01-02) as well as the move afoot in Rizal Province to go ahead independently if the law is not signed at the national level (2009-06-10).
The authors of the present bill want to also rename the Rizal Day public holiday as "The National Hero Day".
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