June 18 Charter Day is a special non-working holiday in Bacolod

BACOLOD City officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran pose with Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Sept. 10, 2018 when the Senate unanimously approved House Bill No. 7044, declaring June 18 of every year as the “Bacolod City Charter Day.” On Nov. 9, 2018, President Rodrigo signed the bill as Republic Act No. 11146 declaring June 18 as the correct date for “Bacolod City Charter Day.” (Contributed photo)

MAYOR Evelio Leonardia said that starting this year, June 18 of every year is now a “special non-working holiday” in Bacolod, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed last year Republic Act No. 11146 that declares June 18 as the correct date for “Bacolod City Charter Day.”

“This is the first June 18 Charter Day celebration of Bacolod. For the past 80 years, it was celebrated every October 19. But starting this year, it will be celebrated every June 18,” Leonardia said.

“After 80 years, we will now have our history in proper order,” the mayor added.

Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya had filed House Bill 7044 on June 13, 2017, upon the request of Leonardia, to correct Republic Act 7724 that erroneously set October 19 as the date for the celebration of the Charter Day of Bacolod City.

Gasataya said the amended bill was filed after the discovery that the City’s Charter was actually signed by Quezon on June 18, 1938. October 19, on the other hand, was the inauguration of the first city officials, for which Quezon came to Bacolod, he added.

Bacolod is celebrating its 81st Charter Day this year, and this time it has been moved to June 18. For the past 80 years, it was celebrated every October 19.

The new law, RA 11146, was approved by Duterte on Nov. 9, 2018. It commemorates the day when then President Manuel L. Quezon signed and approved into effect Commonwealth Act 326 that created the City of Bacolod.

RA 11146 also provides that the inauguration of the City of Bacolod shall be commemorated every Oct. 19, and that the highlights of the MassKara Festival shall be held on the fourth Sunday of October.

Leonardia thanked Gasataya for pursuing the bill. This will, once and for, all correct the erroneous date of the Charter Day celebration in Bacolod, he added.