Lawmaker files bill to lessen public holidays in the Philippines


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MANILA, Philippines – A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to lessen public holidays.
Lawmaker files bill to lessen public holidays in the Philippines

Albay Representative Joey Salceda aims to limit the number of non-working days in the country.

House Bill No. 5032 states that having too much holidays can be counterproductive and may mean loss of income for workers, especially those who are "no work, no pay."

Salceda explained, "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. For some workers, this can also mean 'no work, no pay.'"

According to the lawmaker, the government must practice "restraint" in declaring holidays in the country. Holidays need to be "rationalized" to ensure that it still promotes productivity and competitiveness.

With the Philippines observing 20- 25 holidays annually, we are one of the top countries in Southeast Asia with the most number of public holidays, Salceda noted.

READ: LIST: 2019 Holidays, Long Weekends in the Philippines

If passed into law, the number of regular non-working holidays will be reduced to nine (9).

For special working days, employees will only be given an allowance of seven (7) days. They will choose which holidays they want to observe based "on their cultural, religious, and personal preference."

For government employees, the option to choose which non-working holidays to observe will be decided by the Office of the President.

Here are the proposed non-working holidays:

  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • Good Friday - movable date
  • Eid'l Fitr - movable date
  • Labor Day - Monday nearest to May 1
  • Independence Day - June 12
  • All Saints Day - November 1
  • Bonifacio Day - November 30
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • Rizal Day - Monday nearest December 30

Meanwhile, these are the special working days that employees can choose which to observe:

  • 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

The bill will also regulate fiestas by allowing local government units to celebrate one (1) local holiday to observe its foundation day, heroes day or fiesta. With this, there will be only two local holidays, one for the province and one for the town or city.

The bill explained, "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."

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is tasked to publicize the rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the measure within 90 days from its effectivity.

DOLE pay rules

If employee did not work on special non-working day, the ‘no work, no pay’ principle shall apply unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day.

Employees who work during “special non-working days” are eligible to the following pay terms:

  • For work done, an employee shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his daily rate on the first eight hours.
  • For work done in excess of eight hours (overtime), he/she shall be paid an additional 30% of his hourly rate.
  • For work done during these days that also fall on employee’s rest day, he/she shall be paid an additional 50% of his/her daily rate on the first eight hours.

For regular holidays, these are the payment conditions:

  • If the employee did not work, he/she shall be paid 100% of his/her wage for that day. (Basic wage + COLA) x 100%)
  • For work done during the regular holiday, the employee shall be paid 200% of his/her wage for that day for the first 8 hours (Basic wage + COLA)x 200%)
  • For work done in excess of eaight hours (overtime work), he/she shall be paid an additional 30% of his/her hourly rate as on said dat (Hourly rate of the basic wage x 200% x 130% x number of hours worked)
  • For work done during a regular holiday that also falls on his/her rest day, he/she shall be paid an additional 30% of his/her basic wage of 200% [(Basic wage + COLA) x 200%)] + [(30% (Basic wage x 200%)]
  • For work done in excess of eight hours (overtime work) during a regular holiday that also falls on his/her rest day, he/she shall be paid an additional 30% of his hourly rate on the said day (Hourly rate of the basic wage x 200% x 130% x 130% x number of hours worked)

— Sally, The Summit Express


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