President Arroyo is breaking tradition this year by failing to include February 25, the date of the first EDSA People Power Revolution, in the list of public holidays.
According to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, the Arroyo administration has a list of activities lined up on February 25 to celebrate the 1986 bloodless revolt that ousted President Ferdinand Marcos and installed Corazon Aquino to power.
She said critics should not impute malice in the nondeclaration. Mrs. Arroyo has had a falling-out with many of the EDSA 1 forces including Aquino after the latter called for Arroyo's resignation.
Presidents Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada included February 25 in the list of official holidays during their terms to commemorate the event.
Last year, President Arroyo signed Proclamation 1699 that lays out the holiday schedule this year.
First on the holiday list is a three-day weekend before the Easter break.
The observance of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on April 9 (Thursday) was moved to the nearest Monday which is April 6.
This will be followed by the Easter holidays from April 9 (Maundy Thursday) until April 12 (Easter Sunday).
The other regular holidays are:
Labor Day-May 1(Friday);
Independence Day- June 12 (Friday);
National Heroes Day- August 31 (Monday);
Bonifacio Day - November 30 (Monday);
Christmas Day- December 25 (Friday); and,
Rizal Day- December 30 (Wednesday).
Arroyo declared the following as Special Non-Working Days:
Ninoy Aquino Day - August 21 (Friday);
All Saints Day - November 1 (Sunday) and All Soul’s Day - November 2 (Monday);
Christmas Eve - December 24 (Thursday); and,
New Year’s Eve - December 31 (Thursday).
The president has long been implementing holiday economics to boost domestic tourism and allow Filipinos to have more time with their families.