Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III filed a measure on February 17 declaring January 23 as a special working holiday in commemoration of the First Philippine Republic and the founding of the Malolos Congress.
The First Republic was inaugurated at Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan on January 23, 1899, after the success of the Philippine Revolution.
“The inauguration of the First Philippine Republic has been regarded as of equal significance with the Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898 at Kawit, Cavite”, Pimentel said.
He said that the momentous event not only gave the Philippines the distinction as the “First Independent Republic in Asia”, but also officially marked the claim of Filipinos to sovereignty after more than three centuries of colonial rule.
Under Senate Bill 1323 filed by Pimentel, the foregoing measure seeks to declare January 23 of every year as special working holiday in the entire country “to increase public awareness on the declaration of the First Philippine Republic,” as well as to remind every Filipinos of our forefathers’ sacrifices in achieving independence.
Pimentel said, “We need to commemorate the beginning of the Filipino democracy and self-government because the First Philippine Republic not only showed the political maturity of our forefathers but also their readiness to run a country even at that early point in our history.”
Under the measure, the National Historical Commission, in coordination with the Department of Education, “shall plan and implement activities for the First Philippine Republic Day” to emphasize its significance to our national history and democracy.