The House committee on Muslim Affairs approved a substitute bill which seeks to declare the first day of February of every year as “National Hijab Day”.
The bill expressly recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.
Moreover, the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination and or preference, shall be allowed.
Under the measure, the term “hijab” refers to a veil that covers the head and chest, which is particularly worn by a Muslim female beyond the age of puberty, in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family. It may further refer to any head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conform to a certain standard of modesty.
The term ‘hijab’ refers to a veil that covers the head and chest, which is particularly worn by a Muslim female beyond the age of puberty, in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family.
The bill seeks to encourage Muslim and non-Muslim women to wear the hijab and experience the virtue in wearing it.
It also aims to remove the misconception of wearing the hijab that has been misunderstood as symbol of oppression, terrorism and lack of freedom.
Likewise, it is the objective of the bill to stop discrimination against Muslim women “hijabi”.
Furthermore, the bill seeks to promote and deepen understanding amongst non-Muslims about the value of wearing hijab as an act of modesty and dignity to Muslim women.
It intends to promote appreciation for diversity in expression of oneself and one’s faith and religion.
The proposal seeks to promote tolerance and acceptance of other lifestyles amongst the Filipino nation.
The bill states the observance of National Hijab Day shall showcase Muslim women’s hijabi rights and Muslim and non-Muslim women are encouraged to don the hijab for one day.
In addition, government institutions, private sectors and schools are encouraged to observe this event in a manner that promotes understanding and awareness among its employees and students as to the objective of the campaign.
The bill tasks the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to observe this event as the lead agency in promotion and raising consciousness about hijabis in the Philippines.
Aside from this, the NCMF shall conduct activities that aim to deepen understanding of the hijab as a lifestyle choice amongst women.
It may conduct fora, information dissemination campaign and other educational drive to effectively meet the objective of the Act.