Palace urged to reverse Duterte proclamation on making Nov. 2, Dec. 24, Dec. 31 ‘special working holidays’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday called on Malacañang to reconsider and withdraw a decision making November 2, December 24 and 31 “special working holidays.”
In issuing the call, Hontiveros warned that making these dates “special working holidays” threatens to cut the take-home pay of thousands of workers.
Malacañang earlier amended the list of holidays for 2021, declaring November 2 (All Souls’ Day), December 24 (Christmas Eve) and December 31 (last day of the year) as “special working days.”
Proclamation No. 1107, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday, amended a previous issuance declaring Nov. 2, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 as special non-working days, citing the need to spur the economy.
But Hontiveros said Malacañang should reverse this proclamation, pointing out that it is “nothing short of disastrous for workers already dealing with a pandemic and an economic crisis.”
“While we understand the need to increase economic productivity, demoting special Filipino holidays to special working holidays will only burden and demoralize Filipino workers, many of whom are already underpaid and struggling with high prices of goods,” she said.
“This is rubbing salt on the people’s wounds. Bakit aalisin ang pagkakataon para kumita ang mga kababayan natin ng extra, ngayong marami ang hirap sa buhay?” she added.
(This is rubbing salt on the people’s wounds. Why take away the opportunity for our people to earn extra, especially now that a lot of people are struggling financially?)
She said these dates “are some of the most important holidays for Filipino families throughout the year.”
“What is the motivation to suddenly make them working holidays? May iba namang mga special non-working holiday na pwedeng galawin, pero yung Christmas Eve at New Year’s Eve? Dapat understood na non-negotiable ang mga petsang ito,” she said.
(What is the motivation to suddenly make them working holidays? There are other special non-working holiday that could have been considered as a special working holiday, but Christmas Eve at New Year’s Eve? It should have been understood that there are non-negotiable dates.)
She noted that due to the proclamation, employees who would report to work during these dates will no longer be entitled to the additional holiday pay of 30 percent of their daily basic wage, among other amenities, granted to workers during special non-working holidays.
The distinction between the special working holiday and special non-working holiday is the rate of pay an employee will get should he decide to work on that specific day.
Based on the holiday pay rules issued by the Department of Labor and Employment in December 2019, if an employee went to work on a special non-working holiday, the “no work, no pay” principle shall apply (unless there is a company policy granting payment on a special day), for which he shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his basic wage on the first eight hours of work.
For work performed on a special working holiday, an employee is entitled only to his basic rate. No premium pay is required since work performed on said days is considered work on ordinary working days.
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