BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 33
DECLARING THE CITY OF NAGA AND THE PROVINCE OF CAMARINES SUR AS PILGRIMAGE CAPITALS OF THE BICOL REGION AND RECOGNIZED TOP TOURIST DESTINATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES
WHEREAS, Section 15, Article 14 of the 1987 Constitution declares that the State shall conserve, promote, and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage;
WHEREAS, the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the only regional feast in the country and, for the past three (3) centuries, has become an epic historical event that has become part of our cultural heritage. Beginning every September of every year until mid-October, the City of Naga and the Province of Camarines Sur welcome millions of pilgrims from different parts of the country and the world who participate in the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia;
WHEREAS, the City of Naga, the Heart of Bicol, where the 300-year old image is enshrined, has long been recognized and considered as the pilgrimage capital of the Bicol region;
WHEREAS, the State, pursuant to the Philippine Constitution and recognizing its duties and responsibilities, as expressly prescribed in Section 15, Article 14 thereof, and cognizant of the contributions of the Peñafrancia festivities to the local economy, regardless of religion, promotes peace and order, provide and environment conducive tourism, a venue for appreciation of Bicol arts and culture, its indigenous and culinary arts, natural wonders and archaeological treasures.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare and proclaim the City of Naga and the Province of Camarines Sur as pilgrimage capitals of the Bicol region and recognized top tourist destinations of the Philippines.
The programs and activities instituted during the Peñafrancia Festival must be conducted in an atmosphere of peace and order that must be assisted and maintained by the government, and that the solemnity and sensitivity of the nature and character of the festivities must be preserved. Towards this end, the government shall ensure that the conduct of the observances essential to the feast, which include but are not limited to the Traslacion, the Fluvial and Dawn Processions and other cultural and historical remembrance activities, shall be respected, and that commercial exploitation during the pilgrimage period such as street parties that may become rambunctious, drinking sprees in plazas, street vending that obstruct passages towards the pilgrimage sites, and other similar activities, shall be discouraged. Accordingly, the local government units within the area are thereby enjoined to ensure that the nature and character of the Peñafrancia Festival shall not be unduly breached and that such commercial undertakings shall not be conducted in public places so as not to disturb and disrupt the activities, but shall be confined to enclosed places such as in malls, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, theatres, assembly halls and the like.
Consistent with the foregoing premises, and in recognition of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia to the local economy and to our nation’s cultural heritage, the government agencies in the City of Naga, in the Province of Camarines Sur and in the Bicol Region such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Labor and Employment, among others, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Caceres, shall put together their technical and financial resources and participate in the conduct of trade fairs, job fairs, skills training and seminars on agriculture, aquaculture and crafts during the months of September and October, and the Philippine National Police is hereby mandated to provide security assistance to the pilgrims and maintain peace and order during the period of celebrations and festivities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of thePhilippines to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 10th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Ten.
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
By the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.