The façade of the Bacolod City Government Center. (PNA Bacolod file photo)
BACOLOD CITY – October 19 will remain a special non-working holiday in this city while the bill which changes the Charter Day of Bacolod to June 18 has yet to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan announced this on Monday after he issued a legal opinion for the Office of the City Mayor, citing Section 2 of Republic Act 7724, otherwise known as “Bacolod City Charter Day”.
The provision declares October 19 as the Charter Day every year, being a special non-working holiday, with its celebration highlighted by the MassKara Festival.
“Although there is the House Bill No. 7044 enacted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, approved on September 19, 2018, and the same is now with the Office of the President for signing, pending such final act and the subsequent publication, Section 2 of R.A. 7724 remains applicable,” Bayatan said.
In Bacolod on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, one of the main supporters of House Bill No. 7044, said the bill is just expected to lapse into law by next month since the President does not usually sign local bills into law as signing all these will take so much of his time.
“It should be a law very soon. Probably by end of November, it would be a Republic Act,” the senator said.
Last month, the Senate unanimously approved on House Bill No. 7044, declaring June 18 of every year as the “Bacolod City Charter Day”, making it a special non-working holiday.
The bill also provides that the inauguration of the City of Bacolod shall be commemorated every October 19, and the highlights of the MassKara Festival shall be held on the fourth Sunday of October.
House Bill No. 7044, which was filed by Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya on June 13, 2017 upon the request of Mayor Evelio Leonardia, amended Republic Act 7724 that erroneously set October 19 as the date for the celebration of the Charter Day of Bacolod City.
The amendment was filed after the discovery that the City’s Charter was actually signed by former President Manuel L. Quezon on June 18, 1938, making the date the actual Charter Day of Bacolod while October 19 was the inauguration of the first city officials, which was attended by Quezon. (PNA)