COTABATO CITY ― The Bangsamoro region has achieved another milestone as its Parliament successfully passed Parliament Bill No. 192, granting the region the authority to regulate the declaration of its own regional and local holidays.
The Bangsamoro Holidays Act of 2023 establishes a comprehensive framework for the observance of regular and special holidays across the region, rooted in its Islamic faith, history, culture, tradition, and economic progress.
Prior to this legislation, the region adhered to Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 17, which recognized Muslim historical and religious events in the ARMM. However, with the introduction of Parliament Bill No. 192, MMA Act No. 17 has been repealed.
The Government of the Day presented PB No. 192 to the Parliament, aiming to bring a more organized and consistent approach to the declaration of regional and local holidays.
Under the proposed legislation, holidays are classified into three categories: regular non-working holidays, special non-working holidays, and special working holidays.
The categorization is intended to provide clarity and consistency in how holidays are observed and celebrated in the region.
According to the proposed legislation, regular non-working holidays will include both national holidays that are observed throughout the country and regional holidays specific to the Bangsamoro region. These regular holidays will allow the people of the region to participate in nationwide celebrations while also having the opportunity to commemorate events of particular regional significance.
Special holidays are non-regular holidays in the region and certain local government units in observance of historical, religious, and other significant events.
The bill acknowledges the need for flexibility in the workforce during special occasions. As such, special holidays may be classified as either working or non-working days, depending on the nature of the event being celebrated.
The passage of PB No. 192 represents a major step towards autonomy and self-governance, allowing the region to assert its cultural identity and exercise its right to regulate its own holidays.
After thorough discussions and deliberations, the Members of Parliament voted in favor of the bill on July 20, 2023.
The approved measure includes a total of four regular non-working holidays, two special non-working holidays, and nine special working holidays that will be observed in the Bangsamoro region.
Regular non-working holidays include:
* Bangsamoro Foundation Day – January 21
* Eid’l Fit’r – Shawwal 1
* Eid’l Adha – Dul Al-Hijjah 10.
* Day of Shuhada – March 18
Special non-working holidays include:
* Day of Arafah – 9th day of Dhul Hijjah
* 1st Day of Tashriq – 11th day of Dhul Hijjah
Meanwhile, special working holidays are:
* Holidays identified in Presidential Decree No. 1083, other than those determined in the measure
* Bangsamoro Day of Solidarity – February 1
* Battle of Bud Daho Day – March 6
* Commemoration of the Signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro – March 27
* Battle of Bayang Day – May 2
* Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Day – November 7
* Shariff Kabunsuan Day December 19
* Commemoration of the Signing of the Moro National Liberation Front-Organization of Islamic Conference-Government of the Republic of the Philippines (MNLF-OIC-GRP) 1996 Final Peace Agreement and 1976 Tripoli Agreement – Observed every September 2
* Bangsamoro Indigenous Peoples’ Thanksgiving Day – on the day of the enactment of the IP Code.
The significance of PB No. 192 extends beyond the declaration of holidays. The bill mandates all private sectors, branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies within the BARMM, as well as constituent local government units, to observe the holidays as declared. Additionally, this legislation will apply to BARMM offices outside of the region.
With the enactment of this bill, funding will be allocated for activities commemorating the holidays.
All BARMM ministries, agencies, offices, instrumentalities, and other constituent local government units will participate in these events, fostering a stronger sense of unity and cultural appreciation across the region. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)