Johanna Macababbad ||
During its final reading, House Bill No. 8149 or “Bating Filipino Para sa Kalusugan Act”, formerly filed as House Bill No.7333 by Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando, had been approved by the House of Representatives with the voting of 212-1-1, last January 19, 2021.
To avoid risking acquiring the COVID-19 virus, the bill proposed a new method of formal greeting that still expresses a sign of respect, and goodwill, like the traditional method of a handshake, but without the need for physical contact. Like listening to the beat and melody of the national anthem, with head bowed and eyes closed, a person stands with his right hand placed where his heart lays.
“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 stressed to explain the decision of his proposal.
It is noted in the bill, when approved, that no punishment would be given to those that do not practice or follow this way of greeting. As of now, the decision of the Executive to approve or disapprove the implementation of the bill as law has not been determined.