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COTABATO CITY — The proposed measure mandating the dual use of the Hijri and Gregorian calendars in the region is one step closer to final approval after the Bangsamoro Parliament passed it on the second reading on Thursday, July 15.
Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Bill No. 87, or The Dual Calendar Act of 2021, was principally authored by Deputy Speaker Atty. Omar Sema.
Sema said in his bill that Muslims around the world use the Hijri or Islamic calendar to determine the dates of religious events and observances.
The Islamic calendar consists of the following 12 months:
- Rabi Al-Awwal;
- Rabi Ath-Thani/Rabi Al-Akhir;
- Jumada Al-Ula;
- Jumada Ath-Thaniyah/Jumada Al-Akhirah;
- Dhul Qi’dah; and,
- Dhul Hijjah.
The bill aims to promote inclusion in all public transactions and develop familiarity of the constituency on the Hijri and Gregorian calendars. It also intends to familiarize the public with the calendar that emanated from the migration of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) from Makkah to Madinah.
Under the proposed measure, in writing the date of official documents and communication, the date on the Hijri calendar should appear first before the date over the Gregorian calendar.
For the implementation of the said measure, the office of the Darul-Ifta should have an initial funding of Php10-million, which shall be sourced from any available funds of the Bangsamoro government.
The Darul-Ifta should also serve as the consultant on religious affairs of the Office of the Chief Minister. (Publication and Media Relations Division) — (✓)