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Philippine Congress wants Spring Festival declared as special non-working holiday

01-04-2011 15:56 BJT

MANILA, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' House of Representatives is seeking the declaration of Spring Festival -- more popularly known as "Chinese New Year" in the Southeast Asian country -- as a special non-working public holiday, in recognition to the contribution of Chinese-Filipinos.

The House Committee on Revision of Laws, chaired by Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, has approved the floor deliberation for consolidated measure on the matter.

The bill, a consolidation of House Bill Nos. 1072, 611 and 2715, seeks to recognize the great contributions of the Chinese-Filipino in the Philippine society and their rich cultural traditions.

"Considering our long relations with the Chinese, many of whom have adopted the Philippines as their home, it is but just to help preserve some of their valued traditions," said Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who authored House Bill 1072 with his brother Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr.

The bill would further strengthen Filipino-Chinese relations, said Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara.

According to Angara, author of House Bill 611, Filipinos' long association with the Chinese people has resulted in cultural enrichment.

By declaring Spring Festival -- a festival massively celebrated in China and in foreign countries by overseas Chinese-- as a nonworking special holiday, mutually beneficial relations would be further enhanced, Angara added.

Rep. Emil Ong, author of House Bill 2715, said in view of the close Filipino-Chinese relations, it is proper to declare Chinese New Year as a regular holiday.

As a nation where more than 25 percent of the population has the Chinese bloodline, Ong said, the passage of the measure would be the most convenient way to thank Chinese-Filipinos for their contribution to the Philippines' history.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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