SB members' power to declare special non-working holidays-A A +A
Friday, May 27, 2011
DECLARATION of special holidays in their respective localities will soon be the job of the local municipal council. House Bill 3796, authored by Buhay Party-list Reps. Mariano Michael Velarde Jr. and William Irwin Tieng, seeks to delegate to the council the job of enacting laws declaring holidays in their localities. Velarde said Congress can instead concentrate on measures of national concern.
This bill is intended to unclog the legislative mill of bills where the subject matters can be appropriately delegated to the local councils to legislate.
Velarde said that under the bill to be known as the "Local Holidays Act of 2010," local councils will declare special holidays in their respective localities to commemorate significant historical events and to honor local heroes. Velarde said the territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy genuine, true and meaningful autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and effective partners in the attainment of national goals and objectives.
By ordinance, working and non-working special holidays to commemorate historical events is subject to guidelines provided under this Act and upon prior consultation with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).
Under the bill, there must be a certification by the NHCP as to the historical significance of the events or occasions and there must be prior information from the Dole as to the number of workers and establishments to be affected by the declaration of the local holidays, including the effects in terms of possible losses in wages for daily wage earners. The bill provides further that the Provincial Board, by a three-fourths vote of all its members, shall have the authority to declare special holidays covering the entire province or its component cities or municipalities.
Among the country's local special non-working holidays are the following:
January 16, Sinulog, Regional Public Holiday, Cebu & Tacloban
February 3, Ka Blas Ople Day, Bulacan
February 5, Biñan Liberation Day, Special working holiday, Laguna
February 9, Mandaluyong Liberation and Cityhood Day, Regular Public Holiday, Mandaluyong City
February 11, Evelio Javier Day, Regular Public Holiday, Antique, Capiz, Aklan, and Iloilo
March 1, Muntinlupa City Charter Day, Special Non-working Holiday, Muntinlupa City
March 16, Araw ng Davao, Special Non-working Public Holiday, Davao City
March 18, Liberation of Panay, Regular Public Holiday, Iloilo
March 27, San Juan Day, Special non-working public holiday
April 21, Special non-working Public holiday, Commemorating the signing of the Calamba Charter creating the City of Calamba
June 15, Cagayán de Oro Charter Day, Special Non-working Public Holiday, Cagayán de Oro City
June 18, Founding Day, Special Non-working Public Holiday, Benguet
June 19, Laguna Day, Special non-working holiday, Laguna
June 19, Calambanga Festival, Special non-working holiday, Calamba City
June 24, Manila Day, Special Non-working Public Holiday, Manila
July 1, Regular public holiday for Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental
July 23, Apolinario Mabini Day, Special working holiday, Tanauan, Batangas
August 19, Manuel Luis Quezón Day, Special working holiday, Quezon Province, Aurora Province, and Quezón City
September 1, Baguio Day, Special non-working holiday, Baguio City
September 2, Nueva Ecija Day, Special non-working holiday, Nueva Ecija
September (second Friday-3rd Sunday), Peñafrancia Festival
September 13, Battle of Pulang Lupa, Special Non-working Public Holiday, Marinduque
October 20, Leyte Landing Day, Regular Public Holiday, Tacloban
Varies, Eid al-Adha, Special Holiday in Armm, movable date
November 16, Quirino Day, Special Non-working Holiday, Province of Ilocos Sur
December 2, Pasay City Day, Special Non-working Public Holiday, Pasay City
December 1, Pampanga Day, Special Non-working Holiday, Province of Pampanga, under the virtue of Proclamation 2226 of late President Ferdinand Marcos
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo usually issues proclamations moving the holiday to Friday if a holiday falls on a Wednesday or Thursday, or to Monday if a holiday falls on a Tuesday. The sole purpose is to enable government and private employees to enjoy a three day weekend holiday. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, coining the term holiday economics, introduced the policy in 2001 to reduce disruption to business and production schedules, encourage domestic tourism and give employees long weekends. In 2004 she issued a proclamation making Christmas Eve as special non-working holiday and December 27, the Monday after Christmas as special non-working holiday.
On July 25, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act 9492 also known as "An Act Rationalizing the Celebration of National Holidays", designating 11 Regular Holidays and three Nationwide Special Holidays. Specific dates or days for celebration are designated. The law provides that holidays falling on a Wednesday will be observed on the Monday of the week and that holidays falling on a on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the Monday that follows.
Three holidays (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Eid'l Fitr) are designated as having movable dates, and the law provides that for movable holidays the President shall issue a proclamation, at least six months prior to the holiday concerned, the specific date that shall be declared as a non-working day. Though it was allowed by RA 9492, Labor Day was never moved to another date by President Arroyo at the request of labor groups. In addition to the Regular Holidays and Nationwide Special Days which it designates, the law specifies that the Eid'l Adha shall be celebrated as a regional holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
While Arroyo's "holiday economics" has been praised for boosting domestic tourism and for encouraging more quality time among members of Filipino families, businessmen are complaining over lost productivity and the hassle of preparing mandatory holiday and overtime salaries in a short period of time. Others deplored it as presidential tinkering with history via executive fiat. The final two weeks of 2008 have the largest number of holidays based on Presidential Proclamation 1463 with offices closed from December 25, 2008 until January 4, 2009.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 28, 2011.