BATING PILIPINO. Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando shows how to do the 'Bating Pilipino' under his proposed House Bill 8149. The bill hurdled third reading approval at the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Jan. 19, 2021). (Screenshot from video posted on Fernando’s FB page)

A measure institutionalizing a new Filipino gesture of goodwill, praise, and respect as an alternative to the traditional “mano” (placing elder’s hand to the forehead) and handshake to reduce the chances of transferring communicable diseases hurdled third reading approval at the House of Representatives.

During Tuesday’s plenary session, a total of 212 lawmakers voted in favor of House Bill 8149, or the proposed “Bating Pilipino Para sa Kalusugan Act”. Only one voted against it while one abstained from voting.

The bill proposes a new and safe way of greeting performed through the simple act of gracefully laying one’s palm of the right hand at the center of the chest while simultaneously lowering the head, with eyes either closed or cast down.

Marikina City Rep. Bayani Fernando, the author of the bill, said the medical profession has established that the traditional, well-meaning, and innocent gesture of handshake transmits communicable diseases and is a risk to one’s health.

Fernando said the alternative of placing the hand over the chest is a universal gesture of good faith coming from the heart, while a nod is a traditional Filipino gesture of respect.

The bill covers all Filipino citizens and all other persons in the country.

It mandates all government agencies and instrumentalities to allocate their respective resources for information dissemination and encourage the practice of the new gesture.(PNA)


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