Eid’l Adha in the Philippines 2012… A Legislative History (& A Late Blog Post)

In recognition of Muslim contribution to Philippine culture, the government has decided to include Eid’l Adha as part of the Philippine holidays to be celebrated.  Eid’l Adha is also known as the Hari Raya Haji, Hari Raya Kurban, Qurban or in English in what is known as the Festival of Sacrifice.  But what is the significance of the occasion?   Eid’l Adha honors Ibrahim’s (Islamic name for Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Islamic name for Ishmael), in obedience to Allah’s  (Islamic name for God) commandment, as a test of his faith. This is similar to the Jewish Biblical version of Abraham’s testing of his faith and obedience to God.  God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. 

This year, 2012, Eid’l Adha celebrations fall on October 26.  


How Muslims Celebrate Eid’l Adha

Eid’l Adha is celebrated on the 10th to the 13th day of the 12th Islamic Lunar month of Dul Hajj which literally means Possessor of the Pilgrimage.  It is during this month that Muslims worldwide go on a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to visit the Kaaba.  The Hajj (pilgrimage) is performed on the eighth and ninth day of the Dul Hajj.  The ninth day, is called the Day of Arafat.  It is on this day where  Muslims on a pilgrimage travel from Mecca to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat. It was at this site that the Prophet Muhammad made his Farewell Sermon in the final year of his life.  Muslim pilgrims stand in devotion, starting at dawn,  praying for Allah’s forgiveness.  Even those Muslims who are not participating in this pilgrimage often spend this day in prayer and fasting.

The celebration of Eid’l Adha starts with morning prayers to remember Allah, and pray for the deceased souls of loved ones and acquaintances may rest in peace before breakfast.  A sacrificial animal without blemish is slaughtered according to Islamic tradition.  They may be either a male or female goat (at least a year old), sheep (at least six months old), cow/ox/buffalo (at least two years old), or camel (at least five years old).  The person, upon slaughtering the sacrificial animal recites the most essential prayers, namely: Bismillah, Allahu Akbar (In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest).  The slaughtered animal is distributed equally into three parts, namely:  to family members, neighbors, and the poor.
Children as well as adults greet each other Eid’l Adha Mubarak as a greeting of happiness, peace and love.

Legislative History of Eid’l Adha in the Philippines

A.    Marcos Administration

 The legal origins of the celebration of Eid’l Adha in the Philippines started during Martial Law.  On September 12, 1973, former President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 291 recognizing Muslim holidays and providing for their implementation.  Section 2 (a) of Presidential Decree No. 291, as amended, mentions the celebration of Eid’l Adha .  One month later, on October 26, 1973, Presidential Decree No. 291 was amended by Presidential Decree No. 322, wherein the celebration of Eid’l Adha or Hariraya Haj (terminology used in Singapore and Malaysia) was stated in Section (b) of said Decree occurring on the 10th day of the 12th Lunar month of Dul Hajj, and declaring it as part of the national holidays of the Philippines.

B.    Macapagal-Arroyo Administration

Under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s regime, Eid’l Adha was made a regional holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim MIndanao (ARMM), by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177 which she approved on November 13, 2002,  and Section 1 c) of Republic Act No. 9492 on July 24, 2007. Based on the declaration of the Grand Mufti (highest religious body) of Saudi Arabia, Eid’l Adha was celebrated last February 23, 2002 and December 20,  2007.

Republic Act No. 9492 was  implemented by Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2 of the Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 81-1277, issued on November 13, 1981,  stating the working hours of Muslim government employees and excusing them from being absent from work, as they observe religious celebrations such as the  Eid’l Adha.  Proclamation No. 1808 was then issued on April 12, 2009 making November 27-28, 2009 a national holiday to celebrate Eid’l Adha.  Its basis was to accommodate Filipino ethnic traditions such as Muslim holidays into mainstream Philippine society.  Macapagal-Arroyo changed her mind and reverted the celebration as a regional holiday, per Proclamation No. 1808-A issued on November 4, 2009.  She finally made it a national holiday through Section 3 of Proclamation No. 1841 which she signed on July 21, 2009.

C.     Aquino III Administration

Republic Act No. 9849 was the basis for all proclamations issued by President Benigno C. Aquino III, declaring Eid’l Adha which is the tenth day of the Zul Hijja, or the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar as a national holiday.  This is similar to a previous law which is Presidential Decree No. 322, except that this decree declares the occasion as a regional holiday. 

The following are the proclamations issued by Aquino III, based on Republic Act No. 9849:

a.     Proclamation No. 60, signed on November 9, 2010, declaring November 16, 2010 a national holiday to celebrate the occasion;     

b.     Proclamation No. 276 approved on  October 20, 2011 which sets a specific date for the celebration of Eid’l Adha as November 7, last 2011;

c.      Proclamation No. 295, issued last November 24, 2011, where Section 2 states the basis of determining the holiday’s specific date, subject to the advisory of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; and

d.     Proclamation No. 488 issued last October 9, 2012, which sets the date of this Muslim holiday on October 26, 2012, as declared by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, the highest religious body in that country

D.    Commission/Department Issuances:

As per the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Resolution No. 2, issued last January 12, 2012, all government agencies are requested to comply with the said Civil Service Commission Resolution.

As part of the Philippine and worldwide holidays…let us greet all Muslims worldwide…Eid’l Adha Mubarak!



I. Philippine Laws:

A.    Presidential Decrees:

A.    Presidential Decrees (Official Gazette Hard Copy,

no On-line Official Gazette copy available):

1. Presidential Decree No. 291  (Official Gazette Hard Copy,

no On-line Official Gazette copy available):

    Official Gazette Volume 69,

    No. 38, page 8531

    (Issue date:  September 17, 1973)

2. Presidential Decree No. 322

    Official Gazette Supplement Volume 69,

    No. 45, page 10308-C

    (Issue date: November 5, 1973)

B.    Republic Acts:

1.     Republic Act No. 9177


2.     Republic Act No. 9492


3.     Republic Act No. 9849


C.     Presidential Proclamations:

1.     Proclamation No. 1808, series 2009


2.     Proclamation No. 1808-A, series 2009

3.     Proclamation No. 1841, series 2009


4.     Proclamation  No. 60, series 2010


5.     Proclamation No. 276, series 2011


6.     Proclamation No. 295, series 2011


7.     Proclamation No. 488, series 2012


D.    Commission/Department Issuances:

1.     Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 81-1277, Series 1981

 November 13, 1981 (page 4 of pdf)


2.National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Resolution No. 2, series 2012, (pages 2-3 of pdf)


II.Newspaper Articles (On-line):





III.URL Websites:

A.    Wikipedia




B.    Other URL Websites





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