By Ben Rosario
The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill declaring December 8 of every year a special non-working holiday in the entire country in celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
At the resumption of regular sessions, 210 congressmen also passed bills providing free Wi-Fi internet access in public areas, instituting a national land use policy, and strengthening the law prohibiting deposit or advance payment for treatment of patients in hospitals and medical clinics.
Authored by Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas, House Bill 5241 proposes to add the Immaculate Conception of Mary Day among the country’s holidays that mark a Catholic religious event.
Under the bill, December 8 of every year will be a non-working holiday throughout the country to allow the faithful to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
Fariñas said Mary is the patroness of the Philippines which is predominantly Catholic and is considered the third country with the biggest population of Catholic faithful in the world.
Fariñas, said among the titles under which Mary is venerated in the country, the Immaculate Conception is one of the most prominent and its feast highly observed by members of the Catholic Church.