(WORLD BULLETIN) In observance with the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, newly-installed Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has declared Wednesday a non-working holiday for all government employees.
“The entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of Eid al-Fitr,” read a proclamation issued Monday by Duterte.
“In order to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid al-Fitr to the forefront of national consciousness, it is necessary to declare Wednesday, 6 July 2016, as a regular holiday throughout the country,” it stated.
The statement came as Muslim communities in the majority Christian city of Zamboanga and its environs prepared for the end of the fasting season.
Professor Ali Yacub, president of the Golden Crescent Consortium of Peace Builders and Affiliates, said in a statement that a committee of the Ulama in the city had gone Moon sighting on Monday afternoon.
“This is to scan the Western horizon for the appearance of the tip of the crescent moon, in compliance with the command of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to sight the moon when to begin fasting for the Holy Month of Ramadan, and sight again, when to conclude the fasting season,” he said.
Yacub said if the crescent can be seen on the eve of Monday, the celebration of the Eid al-Fitr will be on Tuesday, July 5.
However, in the case of cloudy skies, rain or other natural phenomena, Muslims will continue fasting for one more day and Eid will be on July 6, 2016.
Yacub emphasized that Eid binds brother and sister Muslims worldwide with the Muslims of the Philippines.
He called Eid a “day of victory, of remembrance and of peace and brotherhood”.
“The greeting of Eid Mubarak [blessed Eid] must reverberate in the air, so that heaven’s blessings will continue to shower upon the people,” Yacub underlined.