Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today announced he would re-file in the coming 16th Congress his bill seeking to move the observance of Rizal Day from December 30 to June 19.
Marcos made the announcement on the occasion of the 152nd birth anniversary of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
The bill is meant to amend Section 26, Chapter 7, Book 1 of Executive Order No. 292, as amended, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, which specifies regular holidays and nationwide special days in the Philippines.
“June 19, the birthday of our national hero, is a day of celebration of his life and his great contribution to the country’s independence from foreign domination,” Marcos noted.
Marcos said Rizal’s life should be equated with the highest ideals of patriotism, pointing out that his writings have inspired the Filipino nation to advocate the ideals of change through peaceful means.
“It is just fitting that Filipinos commemorate Rizal Day on June 19 as a day of triumph of Dr. Jose Rizal’s nationalism and patriotic ideals,” Marcos said.
According to a document from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the observance of Rizal Day on Dec. 30 goes back to the decree issued by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on December 20, 1896.
Aguinaldo’s decree declared Dec. 30 as the anniversary of Jose Rizal’s death and as “national day of mourning” for Rizal and other victims under three centuries of Spanish rule.
On Feb. 1, 1902 the Philippine Commission enacted Act No. 345 establishing Dec. 30 of each year as Rizal Day, making it one of the official holidays in the Philippines, which is observed up to the present.
However, the NHCP acknowledged that there have been debates in the past on the appropriateness of celebrating Rizal Day every Dec. 30.