House OKs bill declaring November 8 as Yolanda Commemoration Day

Mara Cepeda
House OKs bill declaring November 8 as Yolanda Commemoration Day

Bobbit Lim

The bill would declare a special non-working holiday in Eastern Visayas, which was destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives passed a bill that would declare every November 8 as “Yolanda Commemoration Day” in Eastern Visayas. 

A total of 213 lawmakers approved on 3rd and final reading House Bill (HB) No. 4960 on Monday, November 4. No legislator opposed the measure or abstained from the vote. 

If passed into law, HB 4960 would make November 8 of every year a special non-working holiday in Eastern Visayas to “honor the memory of all who perished during the onslaught of [Super] Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on November 8, 2013.”

The proposed holiday also aimed to “salute the selflessness of all volunteers and organizations that took part and contributed in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the communities affectd by the typhoon.” 

The bill would impose a special non-working holiday in the Tacloban City, the ground zero of Yolanda, as well as the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Northern Samar, Western Samar, and Eastern Samar. 

The measure would have to go through another 3 successful readings in the Senate before the bill may be transmitted to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature. 

Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas in 2013, initially making landfall in in the region on November 8, 2013. More than 6,000 lives were lost, thousands went missing, and towns were washed away in the wake of the disaster. Six years on, Yolanda survivors said are still mourning. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.