Why businessmen want fewer holidays

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2014 12:05 AM | Updated as of Feb 13 2014 08:05 AM

MANILA – Members of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce and other Philippine business groups on Wednesday asked leaders of the House of Representatives to consider reducing the number of holidays in the country.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said lawmakers will consider the suggestion, which was discussed during a closed-door meeting held at the Batasan Pambansa.

“Things as simple as the number of holidays, we have compared with our neighbors. They want us to be competitive, with the same number of holidays. I think a decrease is what they are thinking about. It’s a side comment I took note of,” Belmonte said.

For 2014, the Philippines has about 20 national holidays:

New Year’s Day, January 1
Chinese New Year, January 31
Araw ng Kagitingan, April 9
Maundy Thursday, April 17
Good Friday, April 18
Black Saturday, April 19
Labor Day, May 1
Independence Day, June 12
Ninoy Aquino Day, August 21
National Heroes’ Day, August 25
All Saints’ Day, November 1
Bonifacio Day, November 30
Special non-working holidays, December 24 and 26
Christmas, December 25
Rizal Day, December 30
December 31, Last Day of the Year

In addition, holidays will be declared on Eid Al’fitr and Eidul Adha.

February 25 is a holiday for students only.