Salceda refiles bill seeking to cut number of non-working holidays

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — A lawmaker revived a proposal to cut the number of non-working holidays to improve productivity and give predictability to business operations.

In House Bill 627, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda proposed there be only 18 non-working public holidays from the current 21 to 25.

Of these, he wants only nine regular non-working holidays:

- New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)

- Good Friday (movable date)

- Eid’l Fitr (movable date)

- Labor Day (Monday nearest May 1)

- Independence Day (June 12)

- All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1)

- Bonifacio Day (Nov. 30)

- Christmas Day (Dec. 25)

- Rizal Day (Monday nearest Dec. 30)

The bill states all other holidays shall become “special days," which include the following:

- Chinese New Year (movable date)

- EDSA Revolution Anniversary (Monday nearest Feb. 25)

- Maundy Thursday (movable date)

- Eid’l Adha (movable date)

- Araw ng Kagitingan (Monday nearest April 9)

- Founding anniversary of Iglesia ni Cristo (July 28)

- Ninoy Aquino Day (Monday nearest Aug. 21)

- National Heroes Day (Last Monday of August)

- Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dec. 8)

- Christmas Eve (Dec. 24)

- New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31)

In addition, special days would be designated as work days. It also provides that employees in the private sector will have an allowance of seven non-working days to commemorate their holidays of choice based on their cultural, religious, and personal preference.

For workers in the public sector, the president will determine the seven non-working special days.

The bill requires local governments to have only one non-working holiday — one each for provincial governments, and one each for city or municipal governments.

Under labor rules, employees who report for work during regular holidays will be paid twice their regular salary during their first eight hours. Those who do not show up for work will be paid their regular salary.

Meanwhile, employees who work on special non-working holidays are paid 30% more than their regular salary. Those who do not show up for work are not paid, unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise.