The Lower House has approved a measure that seeks to institutionalize 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 germs.
During its recent plenary session, 212 House members voted in favor of House Bill 8149, the proposed “Bating Pilipino Para sa Kalusugan Act.” Only one voted against it while one abstained from voting.
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)
Authored by Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando, HB 8149 proposes a new and safe way of greeting, done through the simple act of gracefully laying one’s palm of the right hand at the center of the chest while simultaneously bowing the head, with eyes either closed or cast down.
Fernando said medical professionals agree and have established that the traditional amd well-meaning gesture of handshake transmits communicable diseases that pose risks to one’s health.
Fernando said the alternative gesture 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.