UPDATE AS OF DECEMBER 6, 2017: If House Bill No. 5241 is approved by the Senate, December 8 will be declared a special non-working holiday. [via The Philippine Star]
"The House of Representatives unanimously passed on third and final reading House Bill No. 5241 declaring December 8 of every year a special non-working holiday in the entire country to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary," reports Ben Rosario in Manila Bulletin.
The bill was authored by Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas, who is identified as a Marian devotee.
In his explanatory note for the bill, Fariñas explained that "December 8 was declared a holy day of obligation by Pope Clement XI in 1708 for Catholics all over the world, in honor of the holiness and purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary."
"Hence, the Church requires public devotion and veneration of the faithful during the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact, in some countries such as Guam and Malta, Catholics take the day off from work and school to observe said feast," said Fariñas in a dwDD report.
Pundits have remarked that it's rather ironic for Congress to pass this bill as they recently passed the death penalty measure.