Philippines Report

‘BATING FILIPINO’ BILL: Philippines lawmakers approve bill for Covid-safe gesture


The coronavirus pandemic has led to several creative measures introduced for a new-normal to avoid the deadly virus and in a first Philippines' lawmakers have passed a bill in the House of Representatives to legislate a Covid-safe form of greeting. 

According to the bill, to greet in this fashion, there has to be “gracefully laying the palm of the right hand over the centre of one's chest while simultaneously lowering the head, with eyes either closed or cast down”.

The fate of the bill lies in the Senate and must be signed by the President Rodrigo Duterte before it becomes a law. 

However, the act doesn't call for any punishment for people who don't adopt this method to greet others. 

The pandemic has led to leaders across the globe finding new ways to encourage a safe greeting.

In these times, India's traditional “namaste” in which an individual joins his two hands to greet others also gained massive popularity and was seen as a safe alternative of a handshake. 

Some people also bumped elbows and practised foot shakes to curb the transmission of the deadly virus. 

Olivier Véran, France's Health Minister urged people in March last year to avoid kisses and hugs, and Italians were asked to remain “a bit less expansive” while greeting. 

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