Malacañang defended yesterday the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to change three special holidays into special working days this year.
Duterte signed Proclamation 1107, declaring November 2 – Tuesday – All Souls’ Day, December 24 – Friday – Christmas Eve, and December 31 – Friday – New Year’s Eve, as special working days “to boost economic productivity in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic”.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said these special holidays were changed into special working days to recover lost time when stricter lockdowns were imposed across the country.
“The rationale there is because of Covid-19, there were times when our workers were not able to report for work so now that we have the vaccine we need to recover lost time,” he said.
On Sunday, Vice President Leni Robredo criticized the government for its decision to change three holidays into special working days, saying it has implications for Filipino workers.
She said employees would only get regular pay when working during a special working day, instead of getting additional pay during regular or non-working holidays.
Duterte, in Proclamation 1107, emphasized that Covid-19 protocols set by the government discourage large gatherings and festivities that usually take place during public commemorations.
“For the country to recover from the adverse economic impact of the Covid-19, there is a need to encourage economic productivity by, among others, minimizing work disruption and commemorating some special holidays as special working days instead,” the proclamation read.
Under Proclamation 1107, the 2021 regular holidays are January 1 Friday – New Year’s Day, April 1 – Maundy Thursday, April 2 – Good Friday, April 9 Friday – Araw ng Kagitingan, May 1 Saturday – Labor Day, June 12 Saturday – Independence Day, August 30 – last Monday of August – National Heroes Day, November 30 Tuesday – Bonifacio Day, December 25 Saturday – Christmas Day, and December 30 Thursday – Rizal Day. Special non-working days are February 12 Friday – Chinese New Year, February 25 Thursday – EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary, April 3 – Black Saturday, August 21 Saturday – Ninoy Aquino Day, November 1 Monday – All Saints’ Day, and December 8 Wednesday – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.*PNA