MANILA, Philippines?Filipinos would soon be honoring the country?s greatest hero on his birthday rather than on his death anniversary.
The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading House Bill No. 5408 which seeks to move the observance of Rizal Day to June 19, the birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal, from Dec. 30, the date of his execution. The measure will amend Administrative Code of 1987, specifically Section 26, Chapter 7, Book I of Executive Order No. 292.
?Dr. Jose Rizal devoted practically all of his 35 years of existence on earth in putting premium on education and knowledge; and not on violence as a means of change,? said Manila Rep. Jaime Lopez who sponsored the measure.
Lopez said June 19 is the appropriate date to observe Rizal Day because it was Rizal?s writings that awakened Filipinos to unite together to attain the much-needed independence against foreign denomination and that his death alone did not trigger the 1896 revolution.
?It was his life-long accomplishments done during his lifetime that inspired and pushed us Filipinos to fight and work for our greatness as a race,? Lopez said.
Laguna Rep. Justin Marc Chipeco, a co-sponsor, said June 19 should be declared a ?National Hero Day? nationwide.
National Historical Institute (NHI) chair Ambeth Ocampo has fully supported the transfer of Rizal Day as it would give Rizal the prominence he deserved rather than as an afterthought being squeezed between Christmas and New Year?s Day.