A resolution requesting President Benigno Aquino III to declare June 18, 2012, as a special non-working holiday for the City of Bacolod, as the day commemorating the date of signing into law of the Charter of Bacolod City, was unanimously approved by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod Wednesday.
Authored by Councilor Caesar Distrito, the resolution said that June 18, 1938 was the date that Commonwealth Act. 326 known as the Charter of Bacolod City was signed into law by President Manuel Quezon.
To give more honor and value to this important event in the history of Bacolod City, there is a need to declare such date as a special non-working holiday, it said.
The resolution said the President has the authority to declare a certain date as a special non-working holiday even without legislation from Congress.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia has already issued Executive Order No. 05-A, series of 2012 creating the Organizing Committee tasked to prepare and spearhead the weeklong celebration from the 114 th Independence Day celebration on June 12, to the 74 th Charter Day celebration on June 18, and the celebration of Jose Rizal's 151 st birthday, it said.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod had recently approved on third reading the ordinance commemorating every June 18 and every year thereafter as the date of the signing into law of Commonwealth Act No. 326, and this request to the President was made in order to support the provisions of the ordinance.
Meanwhile, Distrito said he does not think there was anything illegal in the celebration of the Charter Day of Bacolod on June 18, in reaction to an inquiry requested by Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. in Congress on the matter.
Golez had claimed that R.A. 7724 states that the Charter Day of Bacolod is in October and that celebrating the city's Charter Day on June 18, is contrary to the mandate of the law.
Distrito pointed out that the SP had unanimously approved a resolution declaring June 18 as the Charter Day of Bacolod and another resolution declaring June 18 as the day commemorating the signing of the Charter of Bacolod.
He said the celebration of the Charter Day is a local issue that could have be decided upon locally.
Distrito said there is nothing illegal in the celebration, citing the holiday economics of the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, where she transferred holidays to either Friday or Monday in order to have a longer weekend, by mere issuance of executive order or presidential proclamation.
There was no law then on holiday economics until Senator Joker Arroyo formally filed a bill which, eventually, made the holiday economics a law, he said.
In the same way, the mayor transferred the celebration from one period to another for purposes of practicality, since October 19 is considered very busy and the celebration could not be given attention because of the MassKara Festival, he said.
Distrito said “Since June 18 was the date when the law was signed and putting it on the correct date is, I think, not illegal. This is a very small issue that I think can be best discussed locally.”
It would be best that city officials, including Golez, discuss the matter rather than bring it to the national limelight, he said.
Councilor Al Victor Espino said he voted for a resolution and an ordinance commemorating June 18 as the signing of the Charter which created the City of Bacolod, because he believes that the true birthday of Bacolod City is on June 18.
As manifest to that fact is a law that was signed by the President Manuel L. Quezon creating the Charter of Bacolod City, he said.
Espino said “I think we are here to rectify history, we are here to correct a wrongful celebration of a date which is very important to Bacolod and that is our birthday.”
He said the celebration is also beefed up by the fact that there is a city ordinance and a resolution backing up the executive order of the mayor, expressing the sentiments of the SP to celebrate the city's birthday on June 18.*CGS