House Bill 8701, a bill seeking to declare July 12 of every year as a special working holiday in the Philippines to commemorate the historic decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in favor of the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea maritime dispute, has been approved in House of Representatives Committee on Revision of Laws.
The said bill was principally authored by Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano.
“In order to commemorate the momentous victory by the Philippines in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), there is a need to designate the 12th of July as a special working holiday in order to preserve the significance and importance of the ruling,” he said in his explanatory note of the bill.
“This will also ensure that our rights and access over the resources in the West Philippine Sea are preserved as well as to endeavor the government to continually uphold our rights in the West Philippine Sea and ascertain that the policies that the government will pursue is consistent with this ruling,” he added.
Alejano said after several proceedings on the arbitration case filed by the Philippine government, the PCA issued on July 12, 2016 a unanimous decision favoring the Philippines.
“The PCA declared that China’s “nine-dash line” has no legal basis in international law. Moreover, the efforts exerted by the Philippine government displayed our country’s commitment to international law and due process. Most importantly, the PCA ruling affirms the country’s entitlements over the resources within the West Philippine Sea,” Alejano said.