Tulfo files bill to turn some holidays into long weekends


Posted at Jan 17 2023 06:32 PM

People visit the Kartilya ng Katipunan shrine as the local government of Manila launched its Christmas decorations around the city on November 15, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Sen. Raffy Tulfo on Tuesday said he filed a bill to amend the holiday economics law in order to allow long weekends "which could boost domestic tourism and promote work-life balance."

Under Tulfo's Senate Bill No. 1651, if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday.

“The Philippines celebrates 18 national holidays annually, four of which are considered ‘special non-working holidays.’ These aforementioned days may at times fall on a weekend making them feel less celebratory for individuals," he said. 

Tulfo said the proposed law would be beneficial to employees and students to allow them to "decompress" and prevent burnout.

“The increase in the number of long weekends can help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and promote work-life balance for both employees and students by allowing them to decompress and spend time with their family and friends,” the bill’s explanatory note read. 

To recall, holiday economics was a practice under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which moved regular and special holidays to the nearest Monday to boost domestic tourism. 

Some business groups have criticized the saying it affects their bottomline, while some complained they are unable to shoulder the extra holiday pay. The practice was stopped by her successor Benigno Aquino III. 

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. earlier issued a new proclamation revising the list of regular holidays and added a special non-working day for 2023.

In signing Proclamation No. 90, Marcos said there was a need to follow the principle of economics by implementing a longer weekend which would "help encourage domestic travel and increase tourism expenditures in the country."