PORAC -- A bill seeking for the declaration of Porac Day as a special working holiday passed the Senate committee on local government.

Senate Bill 2386, which declares October 31 (Porac Day) as special working holiday, is one of the 17 bills approved by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., chairman of the committee on local government.

Marcos upheld the standing policy of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) dissuading the declaration of additional special non-working holidays in the country.

The 17 bills, which passed the committee level, are seeking to declare holidays to commemorate significant historical events in different areas of the country but only as special working holiday, instead of the original proposals for special non-working holiday.

Marcos noted that private businesses have raised objections against declaring additional non-working holidays as they would incur additional cost with payment of holiday premium for their workers without corresponding productivity increase.

Marcos said that based on studies our country already has the most number of holidays compared to its neighboring countries in the region.

"Those reasons have been cited as the reasons to why DOLE has always taken the position that we do not make anymore non-working holidays," Marcos said.

The committee approved the bills after the respective authors agreed to amend their proposals and call instead for the declaration of special working holiday.