Yay or Nay: New Bill Aims to Limit the Number of Non-Working Holidays

Down to exactly nine regular ones.

(SPOT.ph) There's a certain art to somehow squeezing in a weekend getaway during the daily eight-to-five grind—and that usually entails a perfectly-timed holiday break. Well, "to ensure productivity and promote competitiveness," one lawmaker is looking to limit the number of non-working holidays in the Philippines. Albay Representative Joey Salceda has filed House Bill 5032, which will entail nine non-working regular holidays annually, plus an additional seven non-working holidays that public and private sectors can choose themselves.


In his explanatory note to the bill, Salceda notes that the Philippines has more holidays—at around 21 to 25—than the average number of 15 across Southeast Asia; So his bill aims to "rationalize" this number to help keep our country at a competitive level with the rest of the region.

Under House Bill (HB) 5032, there will be nine regular non-working holidays:

  • 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

In addition to these regular holidays, "special days" have also been chosen. This means that there will still be work on these dates, but the day will be marked as a commemoration. 

  • Chinese New Year - movable date
  • EDSA Revolution - Monday nearest February 25 anniversary
  • Maundy Thursday - movable date
  • Eid ul 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
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Public and private sectors will also be given an additional allowance of seven non-working holidays. They can use this allowance to celebrate whichever occasion they deem worthy, "based on their cultural, religious, and personal preference," according to the bill. 

Plus, local government units can also choose to mark two dates as special to their locality, one on a provincial level and another for the town or city. 

"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," said Salceda in a report by GMA News Online.

We're not sure if this will really make people be more productive, so fingers crossed we get to keep our precious long weekends!

Main image from Estée Janssens/Unsplash.

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