House okays measure declaring Chinese New Year a holiday

THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill declaring Chinese New Year as a special nonworking public holiday in the country.

House Bill 1072, aims to provide the Filipinos — particularly Chinese-Filipinos — with time to reflect on the bond and history of the peoples of China and the Philippines.

Reps. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan) said the celebration shall strengthen the ties between the two races that intermingled over a very long period of time.

Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora) for his part, said that aside from economic favor, cultural enrichment has likewise been derived from long association and assimilation with the Chinese people.

“By setting aside the day when Chinese New Year falls to commemorate the occasion which both Chinese and most Filipinos celebrate, we would be enhancing the mutually beneficial relations between us and
furthering the amity forged between these two countries,” Angara said.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) said the presence of the Chinese in the country is very significant.

“Considering our long relations with the Chinese many of whom have adopted the Philippines as their own, it is just to help preserve some of their valued traditions,” Rodriguez said.

Rep. Emil Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar) on the other hand, said in view of the close Filipino-Chinese relations, it is but proper to declare Chinese New Year as a regular holiday.

“As a nation where more than 25% percent of the population has the Chinese bloodline, the passage of the measure is the most convenient way to thank the Chinese for their contribution to our history, “Ong said.

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