Law passed in 1992: Toledo Charter Day holiday declared but not observed
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - November 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A law that declared January 6 of every year as special non-working holiday in the City of Toledo, Cebu to celebrate its charter day anniversary was found to have not been observed since its enactment in 1992.

Republic Act No. 7254 was signed into law by then president Corazon Aquino on March 20, 1992. It was sponsored by then Deputy House Speaker and third district Rep. Pablo Garcia.

Pablo was third district representative from June 30, 1987 to June 30, 1995. He was also the second district representative from June 30, 2007 to June 30, 2013.

Pablo’s son, who is now the district representative and Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia, discovered the unimplemented law authored by his father when he asked queries about the bill left by his sister, former congresswoman and now Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

Gwen filed a similar bill during the previous congress that Pablo John would have wanted to refile. However, he was told that the Senate did not act on the bill because there is already an existing law about it.

Toledo City Councilor Ricardo “Kuya Nick” Pepito said he will bring up the matter before the City Council and to the mayor to have it implemented.It was Pepito who sponsored a resolution requesting then congresswoman Gwen to file the bill in Congress.

Gwen filed the bill twice when she was district representative seeking to declare January 6 of every year as special non-working holiday in Toledo City. Gwen first filed HB No. 4984 in 2014 but it did not pass in the previous Congress.  She had refiled HB No. 1637 on July 18, 2016 which the House of Representatives approved and transmitted to the Senate. But the Senate did not act on it because of the existing law.

On June 19, 1960, Toledo became a chartered city under Republic Act No. 2688. It was made into a city through the efforts of former congressman Manuel A. Zosa, representative of the old Sixth District of Cebu.

The city has since celebrated its charter day every January 6. It has been a long-standing tradition in Toledo City to celebrate with merriment, meaning, and significance to provide its hardworking residents the time to reminisce their city’s founding day and to boost their camaraderie as a community of peace-loving citizens.

Following the colonization of the archipelago in 1896 to 1946, Toledo became a full-pledged municipality when then governor Francis Burton Harrison signed Act No. 119 on December 19, 1919. (FREEMAN)

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