By Argyll Cyrus Geducos and Ben Rosario
President Duterte has signed Republic Act (RA) No. 10966, declaring December 8 of every year a special non-working holiday nationwide.
Duterte signed the bill into law on December 23, 2017, several days after the Senate passed it on December 11 and months after the House of Representatives passed it on May 2, 2017.
A copy of the signed Republic Act was provided to the media on Friday.
“December 8 of every year is hereby declared a special non-working holiday in the entire country to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Principal Patroness of the Philippines,” the RA read.
The new law will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
In the House of Representatives, the measure was authored by House Majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation for Catholics.
It is one of the three holy days of obligation declared by the Catholic Church wherein Catholics must hear Mass.
The other days of obligations are New Year’s Day and Christmas Day.
According to the dogma of the Catholic Church, Immaculate Conception was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, free from original sin as God willed it as Mary was destined as the Mother of Jesus Christ.