LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The House of Representatives approved on third reading House Bill (HB) 10591 authored by Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap that seeks to declare every November 23rd as Benguet Day to be a special non-working holiday in Benguet in celebration of its founding anniversary.
Under the bill, Yap explained that when the holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the holiday shall be observed on the Monday that follows.
Yap, who chairs the powerful House committee on appropriations, noted that the 23rd of November 1900 was the momentous day when the first civil government in Benguet was established.
He pointed out that the rich history of Benguet indicates that although the people of the province are comprised of different groups, tribes, and cultures, they have harmoniously co-existed through the government established then for the said purpose.
The lawmaker underscored that the inception of the civil government of Benguet under Act 48 with its then Civil Governor H.P, Whitmarsh has needless to say, paved the way for the sustained growth and development of the province for over a century now.
According to him, the declaration of every November 23rd as a special non-working holiday in Benguet in celebration of its founding anniversary will surely provide the appropriate opportunity for the province to revisit its past and re-connect with its roots.
Further, he stipulated that the declaration of the special non-working holiday in the province provides a reason for the province to celebrate milestones, big or small, that have since the civil government’s creation over a century ago.
Yap said the approved bill will be immediately transmitted to the Senate for the approval of its counterpart measure before being forwarded to the Office of the President for the signing of the law that will declare every November 23rd as a special non-working holiday in Benguet in celebration of its founding anniversary.
He stipulated that once the bill will be signed into law, the provincial government will no longer have to make annual requests to the Office of the President for the declaration of the date as a special non-working holiday in Benguet to facilitate the celebration of the founding of the first civil government in the province.
Considering that the bill is a local measure, the Benguet caretaker congressman expressed confidence that the counterpart bill in the Senate will be acted upon before Congress will adjourn its session for the 18th Congress by June.
The provincial and municipal governments earlier expressed their all-out support to the initiative of Congressman Yap in filing the bill for the declaration of every November 23 as special non-working holiday in Benguet for the celebration if its founding anniversary.