MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday lamented President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to declare Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and All Souls' Day as special working days.
Duterte's move might cause lower income for workers and fewer opportunity to spend time with their loved ones during holidays, according to Robredo.
"Kasi ‘di ba, kapag ang mga workers natin pinatrabaho on a regular holiday, mas marami ang bayad sa kanila. Kapag ginawa mong special working day, magiging regular ang bayad sa kanila," she said in her weekly radio show.
(When workers go on duty on a regular holiday, their salary is bigger. But if you make it a special working day, their salary will be regular.)
"Siyempre, kapag mahaba ang bakasyon, nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon ang mga workers natin umuwi sa kanila. Nagkakaroon ng panahon para ang families magkakasama."
(When holidays are long, workers have a chance to return to their home provinces. They can spend time with their families.)
Duterte said he designated the holidays as special working days so the country can "recover from the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."
"There is a need to encourage economic productivity by, among others, minimizing work disruption and commemorating some special holidays as special (working) days instead," he said.
The Philippine economy suffered a record 9.5 percent slump last year due to a lockdown that left businesses struggling and millions out of work. The country's strict lockdown, among the longest in the world, will mark its first year in March.
Robredo said there are other ways to deal with the economy.