Palace maintains June 12 as annual Independence Day celebration

July 6, 2010 9:59 pm 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, July 6 – The Philippines, under President Benigno Aquino III, will maintain the celebration of its Independence Day every June 12.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda gave this assurance, noting Mr. Aquino is bent on seeing this done so the historical significance of that date can be highlighted and given due importance.

"The President doesn't want Independence Day moved," Lacierda said Tuesday during a Palace briefing.

He clarified the matter when asked during the briefing if Mr. Aquino will continue implementing the holiday economics policy of his predecessor ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Republic Act 9492 embodies this policy, which rationalizes observance of national holidays, including Independence Day.

This law allows observance of Independence Day even on the Monday nearest June 12.

The Arroyo administration implemented RA 9492 so holidays can be moved to the nearest weekends.

Such aims to give people longer time for economy-boosting tourism-related activities nationwide.

The business and labor sectors already expressed concern about financial impact of RA 9492 on operations and on income of daily wage workers, however.

It's still unclear if President Aquino will continue implementing the holiday economics policy.

Lacierda said the administration will look into this policy to ensure important dates were observed without sacrificing business and daily wage workers' earnings.

"President Aquino will take the appropriate action on this," he assured.

The Philippines used to celebrate Independence Day on July 4 since it was on this day in 1946 when the United States granted the country its freedom.

Mrs. Arroyo's father, former President Diosdado Macapagal, recognized the historical significance of the Philippines' June 12, 1898 declaration of independence from Spain, which conquered the country in 1521.

In August 1964, he signed Republic Act 4166 which designates June 12 as Independence Day. (PNA) RMA/CJT/utb

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