Lawmaker files bill seeking to limit non-working holidays

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Albay Rep. Joey Salceda

A law seeking to limit Philippine non-working holidays has been filed at the House of Representatives as these can lessen productivity, increase labor, and business costs. 

“Public holidays allow the commemoration of special events and provide the people with some rest. Holidays, however, also mean non-working days, reduced productivity, and increased labor and business costs,” Albay Representative Joey Salceda said, explaining his House Bill No. 5032. 

Aside from this, he added that holidays could also mean “no work, no pay” for other employees.

Salceda said the country has too many public holidays among Southeast Asian countries, which extends up to 21 to 25 every year. 

“While Congress has exercised some restraint in further increasing the many holidays in our country, particularly those that are non-working, we need to do more to improve our holiday policy to expand our nation’s productivity and increase our competitiveness,” he added. 

Under the bill, regular non-working holidays be limited to nine while the other holidays will become special working days. However, employees will be given sevennon-working-day allowance as their special holidays to celebrate according to their “cultural religious, and personal preference”.

On the other hand, for government employees, the Office of the President will have to decide for the seven special non-working holidays. 

In case a particular date is set for commemoration, a holiday or a special holiday that falls on a Wednesday shall be celebrated on the Monday of that week whereas a holiday on a Sunday shall be observed on the following Monday. Therefore, the President has to release a proclamation of the specific date of the holiday or the observation of a special holiday at least six months ahead. 

Here is the list of the regular non-working holidays as suggested in Salceda’s bill:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Good Friday – movable date
  • Eidul Fitr – movable date
  • Labor Day – Monday nearest to May 1
  • Independence Day – June 12
  • All Saint’s Day – November 1
  • Bonifacio Day – November 30
  • Christmas Day – December 25
  • Rizal Day – Monday nearest December 30

Meanwhile, the following are classified as special working days:

  • Chinese New Year – movable date
  • EDSA Revolution – Monday nearest February 25 anniversary
  • Maundy Thursday – movable date
  • Eidul Adha – movable date
  • Araw ng Kagitingan – Monday nearest April 9
  • Founding Anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo – July 28
  • Ninoy Aquino Day – Monday nearest August 21
  • National Heroes Day – Last Monday of August
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – December 8
  • Christmas Eve – December 24
  • Last Day of the Year – December 31

However, for the local government units (LGUs), one holiday can be declared non-working, including founding anniversary, their heroes day, or fiesta. This means there will only be two local holidays, one for the town or city and another one for the province. 

“In sum, there will be nine regular non-working holidays, two local non-working holidays and seven special days that would be non-working to be agreed upon by employees and employers for a total of 18 non-working holidays and special days,” Salceda said. 

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