Aug. 20, 21 declared nonworking holidays

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06:34 PM August 13th, 2012

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August 13th, 2012 06:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines—Two long weekends await flood-weary Metro Manilans later this month.

Malacañang has declared August 20, a Monday, non-working regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid’l Fitr, or the Feast of Ramadhan.

President Aquino, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., issued Proclamation No. 455 late Monday.

Aug. 21, a Tuesday, is a nonworking day, too, having been legislated as a special holiday marking the death of the President’s father, slain Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

On Aug. 27, a Monday, the nation will celebrate the National Heroes Day. This, too, is a regular holiday.

Except for some entities in the private sector such as the Business Process Outsourcing, most state and private employees have their regular days-off during the weekend.

In the one-page proclamation, President Aquino based his proclamation on Republic Act. No. 9177 authored by Senator Loren Legarda.

Eid’l Fitr is celebrated by the Islamic world for three days after the end of the month-long fasting.

The holiday aims to “promote cultural understanding and integration,” and thus the “entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr,” the proclamation said.

The proclamation added that it was necessary to declare Aug. 20 as a regular holiday “in order to bring the religious and cultural significance of the Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness.”

In a text message, Legarda welcomed Mr. Aquino’s proclamation, saying: “As we celebrate Eid’l Fitr, we wish our Muslim brothers and sisters genuine peace and economic prosperity, hoping that the long elusive peace will be attained within our lifetime.”

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