Too many holidays? Solon wants only 18 non-working holidays a year

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2019 03:52 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2019 05:12 PM

MANILA - The Philippines loses a month of productivity yearly due to excessive holidays, a lawmaker said Monday.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Joey Salceda has filed House Bill 5032 which seeks to cut down the number of non-working holidays to 18 from the current 21 to 25.

“With 21 to 25 public holidays per year, the Philippines is one of the top countries in the region and among the most prolific in the world with the most holidays. Public holidays in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) average 15 holidays only per year," he said in his explanatory note.

Under his proposal, only the following regular holidays will remain:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Eid'l Fitr
  • Labor Day
  • Independence Day
  • All Saints’ Day
  • Bonifacio Day 
  • Christmas Day
  • Rizal Day

The following will become special days: 

  • Chinese New Year
  • EDSA Revolution - Monday nearest February 25
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Eid'l Adha
  • Araw ng Kagitingan - Monday nearest April 9, 
  • Founding anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo - July 28
  • Ninoy Aquino Day - Monday nearest August 21
  • National Heroes Day - last Monday of August
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary - December 8
  • Christmas Eve - December 24 
  • Last day of the year

Under the measure, a total of 9 regular nonworking holidays will remain, while there will be 2 local nonworking holidays allowed, and 7 special days that would be nonworking to be agreed upon by employees and employers.

“In this way, we are embracing our country’s diversity and public holidays can be more meaningful for the individual based on his or her choice,” Salceda said.

The bill also enjoins each local government unit to have only 1 local holiday by law or ordinance to commemorate its founding, heroes, or festivals. This essentially means 2 local holidays, 1 for province and 1 for the town or city.

“This bill aims to provide the employers a stable and more predictable environment for their business operations. The reduced nonworking days, which is on the ASEAN average, will also give the country more competitiveness," Salceda said.