(UPDATE, July 14: President Aquino has declared July 29 as a regular holiday through Proclamation 826. Read the full text of Proclamation 826 here.)
Muslims in the Philippines and throughout the world will be marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan sometime during the last week of July.
The day will be declared a national holiday nationwide courtesy of Republic Act (RA) 9177, which was enacted during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Read the full text of RA 911 here.
However, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) is yet to announce a particular date for this religious holiday. It can be recalled that Ramadan in the Philippines began last June 29 in accordance to the lunar cycle (check this prayer and fasting schedule that NCMF prepared).
NCMF personnel will conduct another moon-sighting this coming July 26, Saturday, to determine when Ramadan will end as well as the final date for Eid’l Fitr.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) projects that the new moon will be on July 27. See their astronomical diary for July 2014 on this web page.
In other words, it is very likely that Eid’l Fitr is on July 28, hence the day will be declared a holiday.
Apart from its significance to Muslims, making July 28 a non-working holiday also makes sense considering that Iglesia ni Cristo is celebrating its centennial foundation anniversary on the preceding day.
Declaring July 28 2014 a holiday may have complications
It’s possible that President Benigno Aquino III will make an announcement regarding this holiday within the next few days. Ironically, declaring July 28 as a holiday may have some complications for him.
As it is, he is scheduled to deliver his fifth annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) on that particular day.
The 1987 Constitution mandates the president to address the joint session of Congress in its first day of regular session, which should be done during the fourth Monday of July. Read more about this constitutional requirement on this link.
And if you think that this is just a trivial constitutional requirement, remember Aquino’s inauguration in 2010.
Back then, event organizers had to ask singers like Noel Cabangon and Ogie Alcasid to make impromptu performances just so the newly elected president can take his oath of office at exactly 12 noon, which is what the constitution dictates.
Now, the question is, can President Aquino deliver his SONA on July 28 even if he declares it as a holiday?
(PS: This post will be updated as soon as new information becomes available. – MM)
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