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Amid lack of presidential fiat, Pampanga Gov. declares Pinatubo anniversary non-working holiday
By Ding Cervantes

Jun 13, 2017

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga- Amid lack of presidential fiat that declared June 15 last year as  a non-working special holiday in this province, Gov. Lilia Pineda issued yesterday  an executive order suspending all work in government offices and all classes to commemorate the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.
 
In her Executive Order No.09-2017, Pineda noted that Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991 “is considered to be the worst disaster to hit Pampanga in living memory,” and that “26 years after the catastrophe, Pampanga has recovered from the devastation and is now enjoying exemplary growth and development.”
 
She justified the suspension of work in government offices and classes in schools in Pampanga by saying that the events related to the eruption reflected the “resiliency and determination” of Kapampangans to “rise from the ashes,”   and that there was a need to give “our people a day to reflect and celebrate the triumph of the Kapampangan race.”
 
Pineda’s order, however, does not cover Angeles City which is a chartered city beyong the political jurisdiction of the provincial government. Angeles Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, however, was expected to issue a similar declaration.
 
Last year, then Pres. Aquino issued Proclamation 1259  declaring June 15 a special non-working holiday in Pampanga to mark the historic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The proclamation, however, was only for last year’s commemoration.
 
Former Pampanga Rep. Joseller Guiao  had proposed a legislation declaring June 15 an annual non-working holiday in Pampanga, including the chartered city of Angeles, but  his proposal never reached the House plenary. He proposed the day to be called Mt. Pinatubo Memorial Day.
 
The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on June 15, 1991 caused massive destruction not only in Pampanga but also in Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. It was followed by frequent lahar flows that overflowed channels from the volcanic summit and buried many communities.

The non-working special holiday on June 15 last year enabled local officials to host commemorative events.

The proposal to declare June 15 a non-working holiday in Pampanga dated back to 2011 when third district Rep. Aurelio Gonzalez filed House Bill 3948 but this, too, did not reach the plenary.

Guiao said that commemorating the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo “is not only to learn from the lessions of the past, but also to celebrate the resiliency of Kapampangans and their spirit to overcome tragedies.”




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