BARMM bill seeks to streamline declaration of holidays in the region 
July 11, 2023

DAVAO CITY – The Bangsamoro Parliament is making significant efforts to establish a standardized framework for the declaration of regional and local public holidays in the region, taking into account its rich tapestry of history, cultural heritage, and economic progress.

Committee on Rules and Floor Leader, Atty. Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba emphasized that the standardization of holiday declarations is a crucial step towards promoting unity and preserving the unique identity of the Bangsamoro region. (Alprazolam Bars)

“By establishing a clear and transparent process, we can ensure that the holidays we observe truly reflect our shared history, culture, and traditions. Moreover, it allows us to strike a balance between commemorating our heritage and supporting the region’s economic growth,” said Atty. Dumama-Alba.

Recognizing the vital role holidays play in the region, Atty. Dumama-Alba emphasized that these occasions serve as a means to commemorate historical events or figures, observe religious practices, and celebrate other significant milestones.

Currently, the national level observes a total of 16 regular and special holidays celebrated nationwide, while the Bangsamoro region has a combination of nine regular and special holidays.

The BTA Bill No. 192, or the Bangsamoro Legal Holidays Act, filed by the Government of the Day, seeks to align the regional holidays with the national calendar while considering the unique cultural and historical aspects of the region.

The proposed holidays in the bill include:
· Bangsamoro Foundation Day;
· Sheik Karimul Makhdum Day;
· Eid’l Fit’r;
· Eid’l Adha:
· Commemoration of the Jabidah;
· Commemoration of the Signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and
· Battle of Bayang Day.

Atty. Dumama-Alba stressed that the objective is not to diminish the significance of existing holidays but rather to optimize their impact and make them more meaningful to the people of the Bangsamoro region.

The proposed measure also aims to avoid overlapping holidays that may burden businesses and disrupt economic activities.

To ensure that the voices of the Bangsamoro constituencies are well represented in the proposed legislation, a public consultation was held today in Davao City, with the participation of various stakeholders from the provincial and local government units, BARMM offices and ministries, representatives from the business and labor sectors, and academic institutions.

They discussed the potential impact of the bill on private workers, business sectors, religious groups, schools, and local government units.

While some sectors may enjoy the implications of non-working holidays, others raised concerns regarding the implications of such holidays in the region.

Representing the business sector, Bangsamoro Business Congress Chairperson Atty. Ronald Hallid Dimacisil raised three concerns for BTA Bill No. 192, which include economic implications, competitive disadvantage effects, and coordination challenges that may arise.

To address these concerns and minimize the impact on the region’s economy, Abu Amri Taddik, the Minister of Trade, Investment, and Tourism of BARMM, proposed reducing the number of non-working holidays and replacing them with working holidays instead.

Business leaders also view this effort as a way to strategically plan economic activities and capitalize on the potential growth brought about by these holidays.

“As the body that exercises legislative authority and functions in the Bangsamoro, it is crucial that we understand and effectively manage these impacts so that we can leverage opportunities and mitigate challenges,” said Atty. Dumama-Alba, emphasizing the necessity for a law that regulates the declaration of regular or special working or non-working holidays.

The bill, she said, provides a framework for the declaration of holidays that is clear, consistent, predictable, inclusive, and adaptable to the socio-economic policies of the Government of the Day.

If BTA Bill No. 192 is passed into law, BARMM will become the first region in the country to have its own legislation that provides specific guidelines for the holidays observed by its constituents.

The bill encompasses all private and public offices, private corporations and establishments, government-owned and controlled corporations, private and public schools, and other institutions operating within BARMM, including BARMM offices located outside the region.

The committee will convene tomorrow to deliberate on the bill, discussing the proposed amendments and position papers submitted by stakeholders. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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