By Camille A. Aguinaldo
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law Republic Act No. 11014 declaring Jan. 23 of every year “The First Philippine Republic Day” and making it a special working holiday nationwide.
“January 23 of every year is hereby declared as ‘The First Philippine Republic Day,’ which shall be a special working holiday in the entire country to commemorate the declaration of the First Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899 held at the Barasoain Church in the City of Malolos, Province of Bulacan,” R.A. 11014 stated.
The law also directed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and Department of Education (DepEd) to implement activities on Jan. 23 to ensure that the historical event would continue to “inspire and instill a sense of pride for the rich and noble history of the Filipino nation.”
According to NHCP, the First Philippine Republic, though short-lived, “catapulted” the Philippines into world consciousness by being Asia’s first independent republic after more than three centuries of Spanish rule.
The Philippine Revolution culminated with the inauguration of the Malolos Republic on January 23, 1899. The First Republic was led by Philippine Revolution general Emilio F. Aguinaldo.