Senate approves hijab measure

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the Senate Bill 1410 which seeks to declare the first day of February of every year as the national day for awareness on the hijab and other traditional garments and attire.

With 21 affirmative votes, no negative votes, and abstentions, the proposed measure is now only waiting for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signature.

The bill was the first approved proposed measure filed by neophyte Senator Robin Padilla since his election in May last year.

In his manifestation, Padilla expressed his gratitude to his fellow lawmakers for supporting the measure which he said is “special not only for Filipino Muslims but also to Filipinos in general who are aspiring to have a deeper understanding of our differences in culture, tradition and religion.”

“Recognizing the struggles of a certain group does not mean that others’ value would depreciate. Instead, our goal is clear: the amplification of the voices of the marginalized to advance equality,” said the lawmaker.

“Endless thank you to my colleagues who stood up with us – in any form — to achieve our goal for our fellow Filipinos,” he added.

Under the proposed measure, Padilla stressed the importance of having the right to “freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

“This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his/her choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his/her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching,” the measure said.

The bill mandates the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos to be the lead agency in promoting and raising consciousness about the practice of wearing a hijab.

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