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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, January 29, 2018
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Charter Day Oct. 19,
Gamboa insists

The charter anniversary of Bacolod City is on October 19, based on the position of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines,

Bacolod Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. said.

Gamboa said he wrote the NHCP on Nov. 15, 2017 to inquire whether the Charter Anniversary of Bacolod should be celebrated on Oct. 19 or June 18.

He will submit a position paper to the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod on the matter on Wednesday, Gamboa said.

In his letter to Gamboa dated Dec. 1, 2017, NHCP chairman Rene Escalante said “The NHCP reiterates its position that while Commonwealth Act No. 326 or the ‘Charter of the City of Bacolod' was enacted on June 18, 1938, Bacolod City officially came into corporate existence when it was inaugurated by President Manuel Quezon on Oct. 19, 1938.”

Escalante said this is the reason why every year following 1938, the people of Bacolod have celebrated Oct. 19 as their city's ‘charter/foundation.' In view of this, R.A. No. 7724 was passed on May 19, 1994, declaring Oct. 19 of every year a special non-working holiday in Bacolod to be known as ‘Bacolod City Charter Day', notwithstanding a provision stating that the celebration is highlighted with the …now famous MassKara Festival.”

Gamboa said this means that the MassKara Festival cannot be transferred because it is the highlight of the Charter Day Anniversary, contrary to the ordinance passed by the SP holding the festival on the fourth Sunday of October.

Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya had filed House Bill 5875 Declaring the 18 th Day of the Month of June Every Year a Special Non-Working Public Holiday In the City of Bacolod to be known as “Bacolod City Charter Day,” last June 2017.

The Bill seeks to commemorate the Charter of the City of Bacolod on its true day of creation, address the problems presented by R.A. 7724, and to honor those who took the necessary steps to lead Bacolod into its cityhood status on June 18, 1938.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, earlier said this bill was already approved at the committee level in Congress.

But approval in Congress would mean that this will pass through the Senate and the plenary. According to Gasataya, the movant in the committee level of the public hearing in Congress was former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he said.

Leonardia said that, as of now, they cannot tell exactly if by June 18 there will be a new law. If the bill will be approved, it would mean that the new holiday of Bacolod is June 18.

But, for the meantime, we have to live with the reality that if it will not be approved we will still continue the October 19 as a holiday, he said.

Leonardia also said that this year, Bacolod will be 80 years old because its Charter was signed by President Quezon on June 18, 1938 and October 19 was the day the mayor was inaugurated.*



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