MANILA – 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 has hurdled second reading at the House of Representatives.
The lower chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 8149, or the proposed “Bating Pilipino Para sa Kalusugan Act,” which proposes a new and safe way of greeting performed through the simple act of gracefully laying the palm of the right hand over the center of one’s 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)