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FACT CHECK: No Palace proclamation declaring March 11 a regular holiday 


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FACT CHECK: No Palace proclamation declaring March 11 a regular holiday 
The circulating presidential proclamation declaring March 11 a nationwide regular holiday is fake and edited, says the Palace Official Gazette

Claim: Malacañang declared Monday, March 11, a nationwide regular holiday in observance of Eid’l Fitr.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: A document labeled “Proclamation No. 729” which bears the claim is circulating across social media.

Allegedly approved by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on February 28, the document declares March 11 a regular holiday throughout the country to “bring the religious and cultural significance of the Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, and to allow the entire Filipino nation to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr.”

The signature of former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea also appears on the document.

On Facebook, some users said in the comment section of a post that March 11 is a holiday because it is marked with the color “red” in the calendar.  The “memorandum” also made users on Tiktok believe the date was a holiday. 

The facts: The list of 2024 holidays in the Philippines released by Malacañang through Proclamation No. 368 does not include March 11 either as a regular holiday nor a special day. (READ: LIST: Philippine holidays in 2024)

There is also no “Proclamation No. 729” released in 2024 on the Official Gazette’s website. As of writing, the most recent presidential proclamation is Proclamation No. 487. 

Fake details: The Official Gazette said in a post that the circulating document is “spurious” and that it is “a tampered version” of Proclamation No. 729, s. 2019, which was issued by the previous administration. The mentioned original document is for the declaration of June 5, 2019, as a regular holiday in observance of Eid’l Fitr, signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte.

Additionally, Salvador Medialdea, who appears to sign the document on behalf of the President, is not the current executive secretary. Lucas Bersamin holds the position under the Marcos administration, not Medialdea. 

Misleading dates: The document falsely identifies March 11, 2024, as the observance of Eid’l Fitr. (FAST FACTS: What you should know about Eid al-Fitr, end of Ramadan)

According to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Bureau of Muslim Cultural Affairs, March 11 or 12 is the start of the celebration of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from food, water, and sexual activity from sunrise to sunset.

“If the New Moon is sighted during the moon-sighting (Niyata) on March 10, 2024, as enjoined by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the fasting month of Ramadan will start the following day, March 11, 2024. If not sighted, fasting will start the next day, March 12, 2024,” said the NCMF in its Ramadan calendar.

“Another moon-sighting activity will be conducted on the 29th day of Ramadan to determine the end of Ramadan fasting and observance of Eid’l Fitr,” it added.

Eid’l Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan, is observed on different dates each year, depending on the sighting of the new moon in the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The presidential proclamation declaring a national holiday for the observance of this celebration will follow once the NCMF recommends to the Office of the President its date, based on moon-sighting activities.

Official accounts: For official updates regarding proclamations, memoranda, and orders by the President, refer to the Official Gazette’s official website and Facebook page. –  Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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