Sunday, February 3, 2013
MANILA, February 3, 2013-Senator Loren Legarda, author of Senate Bill No. 3276 or the World Interfaith Harmony Week Bill, said that the measure has been approved on third reading in the Senate and now awaits the concurrence of the House of Representatives.
"I hope that the World Interfaith Harmony Week Bill will be passed by the House before the close of Fifteenth Congress next week. The rationale of the UN resolution is a need to find genuine understanding amongst people of different faiths and belief systems. This finds resonance in the Philippines, as we will certainly benefit from dialogues between leaders and representatives of religious institutions. The harmony we are pushing for is democratic, and built on effective communication and mutual respect," she explained.
The proposed measure will mandate all government agencies and instrumentalities on the first week of February every year to carry out the observance of activities designed to advance the message of harmony and goodwill in accordance with religious traditions and practices.
"Gatherings and activities for World Interfaith Harmony Week have been held in various countries across the world with diverse backgrounds, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Italy, and Jordan. Even in our country, the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP) staged a gathering in Zamboanga City in honor of inter-religious cooperation. Beginning 2014, we can conduct nationwide immersion programs and educational discussions geared towards forging lasting friendships," she added.
"I believe that this measure will greatly contribute to easing any conflict or tension caused by differing religious beliefs in the country," Legarda concluded.
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