The Malacañang Palace has announced the regular and special non-working holidays for 2024, and many social media users have raised concerns after noticing that the EDSA People Power Revolution anniversary was not on the list.
Since 2002, this historic event in the country has been declared a special non-working holiday, traditionally commemorated in mid-February. However, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. eliminated the anniversary in Proclamation No. 368.
This led many individuals and organizations to sound the alarm online as they denounced the decision to exclude the holiday that remembers the revolution that sparked immense change in the country.
Project Gunita, an academic research organization focused on countering historical distortion, condemned the "state-sponsored attempt to whitewash the history of the brutal dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr."
"We pose these questions to Malacañang: Is the President still afraid of ghosts of the past?" Project Gunita questioned.
"Are we walking into an Orwellian future under the late dictator's son, where memory is deemed insignificant, if not criminal? Will the holiday on Ninoy Aquino's murder be stricken off the calendar next in 2025?" it added.
Several social media users echoed the group's rage at the exclusion.
"Hindi pwede 'yan, pa'no mo tatanggalin ang pinaka-importanteng pangyayari na 'yan sa bansa? Para pagtakpan lang ang ego nila? Na kapalapakan naman talaga ang pamamahala nila?" one user commented.
Another one pointed out how the move seems to be contrary to Marcos Jr.'s statement during the EDSA anniversary earlier this year.
"The non-inclusion of the anniversary in the list holidays runs counter to the President’s message this year i.e. to remember it and 'how we came out of them united and stronger as a nation,'" they wrote.
Addressing the criticisms, the Office of the President has released a statement explaining that it did not declare the EDSA anniversary as a holiday because the event fell on a Sunday.
"The Office of the President maintains respect for the commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution. However, it was not included in the list of special non-working days for the year 2024 because February 25 falls on a Sunday," the office said.
"There is minimal socio-economic impact in declaring this day as a special non-working holiday since it coincides with the rest day for most workers and laborers," it added.
Some understood the logic behind the move and defended the non-inclusion of the EDSA anniversary.
"Good decision, it falls on a Sunday so no need to declare it," one user wrote.
"Nagsasayang lang kayo ng pera taon-taon. Itulong niyo na lang sa mga mahihirap ang pera na ginagastos niyo sa anniversary na 'yan," another one stressed.
However, there were others who remained quick to slam the explanation.
"Deliberately omitting EDSA People Power revolution from Philippine holidays is a form of disrespect to the victims of martial law and the Filipino people still suffering the effects of that era today," one user commented.
Others have also pointed how the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary also fell on a Sunday but was still included in the list.
"They took out the EDSA People Power anniversary saying that February 25, 2024 falls on a Sunday. But so does the Immaculate Conception, and it’s there. What gives? You can’t erase the fact that Marcos the dictator was toppled in 1986. Stop revising history!" one user posted on X.
The 2024 holidays list also didn’t include Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha yet as it will be proclaimed once the Islamic calendar has been finalized.