MANILA, Philippines - The House Committee on Appropriations has approved a bill that seeks to declare the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque as a national shrine for being the first and oldest existing mosque in the country.
During a recent hearing, committee members and representatives from different government agencies expressed their support for House Bill 99 filed by Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora).
Angara said House Bill 99 aims to give due recognition to the contribution of Islam in the development of culture and civilization in the country.
"This bill would also be a sign to our brother Moslems in Mindanao that they are being accorded due and equal recognition by the national government," Angara added.
The Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque has already been entitled to a special non-working holiday by virtue of a regional law within the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through a legislative assembly. It is also included in their centennial celebration as one of the Islamic events.
Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque is located at the Tubig Indangan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi, which was constructed by an Arabian Missionary in the 1380s. Sometime in 1965, then President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos went to the site to install a historic marker, giving it recognition as the first oldest existing mosque in the country.(Salvacion Beleo)