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May 3 declared regular holiday for Eid’l Fitr

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
May 3 declared regular holiday for Eidâl Fitr
Members of the Muslim community near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila prepare for morning prayers in celebration of Eid’l Fitr, or the end of the holy month of Ramadan, yesterday.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has signed Proclamation 1356 declaring today, May 3, a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid’l Fitr or the end of Ramadan.

“The entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr, subject to the public health measures of the national government,” Duterte said in signing the proclamation.

The President signed the proclamation last Sunday “in order to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness.”

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and the Bangsamoro Darul-Ifta’ or the Islamic religious authority in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have agreed to recommend May 3 as the date of Eid’l Fitr, with the 30th day of Ramadan falling on May 2.

Joining Filipino Muslims in celebrating Eid’l Fitr yesterday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called on all Filipinos of different faiths to unite and care for each other.

“The observance of this year’s Eid’l Fitr is made more significant as the whole nation prepares for the ushering in of a new leadership,” Lorenzana said.

“This is an appropriate time to promote the spirit of love, reconciliation and social healing among Filipinos of all faiths,” he added.

The defense chief said he and the department’s One Defense Team are one with Filipino Muslims in celebrating the joyous culmination of this year’s Ramadan.

“The Department of National Defense hopes that the past month’s reflection of Ramadan will bring continuous journey to peace and prosperity to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao and all Islam communities in the world,” he added.

Generally peaceful

The Eid’l Fitr congregational outdoor prayer rites in many areas in central Mindanao that thousands of Muslims attended yesterday were generally peaceful, according to the police and military.

Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) commander Major Gen. Juvymax Uy said all went well in areas where the Eid open-field prayers were held.

“There was good coordination between our units and the regional police offices in the Bangsamoro region and in Region 12 in providing security for the worshipers,” Uy added.

The 6th ID covers the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, both in the Bangsamoro region.

The division also has units in North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and in the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong and General Santos City in Region 12.

The traditional outdoor ceremony marked the culmination of the month-long Islamic Ramadan fasting season that started last April 3.

Ramadan is a holy month in the lunar-based Hijrah calendar, where physically fit Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for one lunar cycle, or from 28 to 30 days, both as sacrifice and religious obligation.

Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region director Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona said he is grateful to local government units in all of the five provinces under his jurisdiction for supporting the Ramadan and Eid security efforts of his office.

“Credit for the peaceful Eid holiday in the Bangsamoro region also has to go to the provincial police offices and all the municipal police stations in the Bangsamoro region,” Cabalona said.

About 80 percent of around five million residents in the Bangsamoro region are Muslims while the rest are non-Moro indigenous people and Christians.

Double pay

Meanwhile, double pay awaits workers who will opt to report for work today, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that during regular holidays, employees shall be paid 200 percent of their regular salary for the first eight hours of work and if they worked overtime, they shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their hourly rate.

Employees who will not report for work shall still receive 100 percent of their salary.

Those who worked on a regular holiday that also falls on their rest day shall be paid an additional 30 percent of their basic wage on top of the 200 percent.

Overtime work on a regular holiday that falls on a supposed rest day shall be paid an additional 30 percent of hourly rate in addition to the 130 percent. – Michael Punongbayan, John Unson, Mayen Jaymalin

EID’L FITR

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