Marcos hopes for unity amid diversity in Eid’l Fitr message

By Darryl John Esguerra

April 10, 2024, 7:54 am Updated on April 10, 2024, 8:25 am

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. <em>(File Photo)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File Photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday called for unity amid Filipinos’ diversity in beliefs and philosophies as he joined Muslims here and abroad in the celebration of Eid’l Fitr or the Festival of Breaking the Fast.

In his written message released by the Office of the President, Marcos emphasized the festival's significance for the spiritual renewal of Muslims after Ramadan's month-long observance of prayer, sacrifice, and penance.

“Truly, the Festival of Breaking the Fast marks not only the culmination of Ramadan, but also the rededication of one’s journey towards a more disciplined, dignified, and gracious life,” Marcos said.

“As you take to heart the insights from your devotion, may you become shining examples of humility, peace, and strength among our people as they overcome challenges and nurture their trust in the Almighty.”

The President expressed hope that unity and compassion would prevail despite Filipinos’ diversity in beliefs.

“It is also my sincere hope that, despite our diversity in beliefs and philosophies, we will remain united by our shared aspiration for a more progressive and resilient nation moving forward,” Marcos said.

“Let us strive to forge a society where love prevails over indifference, where faith outshines fear, and where oneness conquers division and discord,” he added.

The Philippines, a predominantly Christian country, is home to about seven million Muslims, the majority are from Mindanao.

Marcos has declared April 10 a regular holiday nationwide to bring the “religious and cultural significance of 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.

Embrace spirit of inclusivity, understanding

In a separate statement, Speaker Martin Romualdez extolled the contributions of Filipino Muslims in nation-building, and called for inclusivity and understanding on the occasion of Eid’l Fitr.

“As we join in the celebrations of Eid'l Fitr, let us also recognize the diversity that enriches our nation. Let us embrace the spirit of inclusivity and understanding, fostering unity and respect for all faiths and beliefs,” Romualdez said.

He noted that Ramadan teaches the values of patience, empathy, and self-discipline, and it is a time for introspection, where individuals strive for personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.

“Through fasting and acts of charity, Muslims demonstrate their commitment to compassion and generosity, reaching out to those in need and fostering solidarity within their communities,” he said.

“May this Eid bring not only joy but also renewed hope and optimism for our shared future. Let us carry forward the values of compassion, generosity and unity that define this occasion, extending kindness and goodwill to all.”

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) also joined Muslim officials and employees in the public service in the celebration of Eid’l Fitr, as it highlighted its policies in promoting unity and inclusivity during observance of Ramadan.

“The CSC recognizes the significance of Ramadan and Eid’l Fitr to our Muslim brothers and sisters. In line with our commitment to promote inclusivity and respect for diversity, we have encouraged government agencies to implement flexible working arrangements (FWAs) to support our Muslim employees during this sacred period," CSC Chairperson Karlo Nograles said in a statement.

Nograles said that during Ramadan, the official working hours for Muslim officials and employees can be adjusted from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without a noon break, and the two-hour difference will not be counted as undertime. Additionally, on Fridays, or the Muslim prayer day, Muslims are excused from work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“By adopting flexible working schemes during Ramadan, we ensure inclusivity and promote cultural and religious awareness for our Muslim brothers and sisters.” (PNA)