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The Committee on Revision of Laws of the Philippines' House of Representatives has approved 10 bills proposing additional annual public holidays, most notably, House Bill (HB) 5881, which would make Chinese New Year a special non-working public holiday.
The author of HB 5881, Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez, said the declaration of a Chinese New Year public holiday is in recognition of the "great contributions of the Chinese-Filipino in Philippine society and their rich cultural traditions, thus giving them honor and respect which is due them".
Of the proposed new holidays, only Chinese New Year would be a non-working public holiday; all the other approved holidays would all be working days. The list, still to be vetted by the National Historical Institute (NHI), is: Philippine-American War Heroes Day (February 4), Philippines-France Friendship Day (June 26), National Farmer's Day (January 22), Leandro L. Alejandro Day (September 19), National Day of Remembrance (September 21), National Teacher's Day (October 5), Founding of the Katipunan (July 7), Constitution Day (February 2), and National Elderly Filipino Broadcasting Day (the second Sunday of October). A slightly different list had been compiled last March (2009-03-14).
This new public holiday, if voted in plenary sessions, and signed by President Arroyo, would add a third annual day of public holiday compared to last year's Republic Act 9492 and Presidential Proclamation 1699 which were augmented last month by the addition of 2 non-working public holidays for the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice (2009-04-05).
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