Senator Richard Gordon has joined the call for Filipinos to observe a “new” way of greeting and show of respect amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Gordon on Monday, February 8, filed Senate Bill No. 2043, which seeks to institutionalize a “new Filipino gesture of respect, goodwill and praise”.
Under the bill, the said “Filipino gesture” can be done by “gracefully laying the palm of right hand over the center of the chest while lowering the head”.
A similar measure citing the same gesture was passed by the House of Representatives on third and final reading last January 19. It was called proposed “Bating Filipino Para Sa Kalusugan Act” (House Bill No. 8149).
The Senate bill, meanwhile, has been referred to the Senate committees basic information and public information for deliberation.
In filing the measure, Gordon said that while Filipinos have been known for their hospitality and goodwill, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed “a lot of our ways and we must now adjust to the ‘new normal’, one where limited social contact
is needed if we are to protect not just ourselves but also everyone about us.”
“Numerous studies have shown that respiratory viruses, especially COVID-19
can be passed by shaking hands and other physical contact. Thus we must resort to other ways to greet one another or to show our affection, respect, and praise to the people around us,” he explained in his bill.
“The new normal should not be the end to the Filipino hospitality and goodwill, rather it must be an improvement of these Filipino traits. It is for the reasons stated above that the passage of this measure is earnestly sought,” he added.
The proposed law covers not only Filipinos, but all other persons in the Philippines. It also calls on all government agencies and instrumentalities to allocate resources for information dissemination and to encourage the practice of the new gesture.