The House committee on basic education and culture chaired by Rep. Ramon Durano VI (5th District, Cebu) on Monday resumed deliberation on House Bill No. 2139, or An Act Declaring Every 19th Day of June as 'Araw ng Pagsulat,' A Special Working Holiday, introduced by Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan).
The bill aims to address concerns about declarations of symbols and sites that represent the Filipinos' pride and legacy and that tell the values and stories about the country's ancient past, said Durano during the hearing.
It seeks to declare June 19 of every year as Araw ng Pagsulat, which shall be a special working holiday, to be celebrated in all elementary and secondary schools throughout the country.
The bill also states that if June 19 falls on a weekend, the holiday shall be observed on the Friday of that week.
June 19 also coincides with the birth anniversary of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, which the country commemorates every year, and is a special working holiday.
Bataoil said it is fitting and proper to honor the birth anniversary of the country's national hero by declaring June 19 of every year as Araw ng Pagsulat as Dr. Jose P. Rizal changed the course of the nation's history primarily through his writings.
The bill recognizes the importance and promotes writing as a shared activity among the youth, families, educators, and the private sector, thereby emphasizing personal interaction and facilitating the exchange of ideas throughout the country, Bataoil explained.
Bataoil further said his measure seeks to create awareness and uphold the Filipino heritage and culture.
The proposed Act mandates the Department of Education, in consultation with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, other government agencies and units, and concerned writing associations to plan and implement activities for the observance of the Araw ng Pagsulat.
The bill also encourages the use of Baybayin, or pre-Spanish writing system, and the regional languages in the celebration.
Rep. Gabriel Bordado (3rd District, Camarines Sur) expressed support for the measure, pointing out that declaring June 19 as Araw ng Pagsulat and as a special working holiday would ensure awareness and participation of the students in the celebration.
The committee created a Technical Working Group (TWG) that will finalize the measure.
Source: House of Representatives