Sen. Raffy Tulfo has filed a bill in Senate aiming to amend the holiday economics law to allow for more long weekends during the year.
Senate Bill No. 1651, also known as the "Holiday Act of 2023" seeks to update Republic Act No. 9492, which permits certain holidays to be commemorated on a Monday. The senator said this move hopes to boost domestic tourism in the country and "promote work-life balance" among employees and students.
Under the proposed law, holidays that fall on a Saturday and Sunday will be observed the following Monday.
"The Philippines celebrates 18 national holidays annually, four of which are considered 'special non-working holidays.' These aforementioned days may at times fall on a weekend making them feel less celebratory for individuals," the bill's explanatory note of the bill, shared to reporters, read.
"Additionally, the increase in the number of long weekends can help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and promote work-life balance for both employees and students by allowing them to decompress and spend time with their family and friends."
RA 9492 was filed in 2007 under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's administration but was repealed under Benigno Aquino III's term to lessen the disruption of activities in the Philippine economy.
According to Tulfo, the new bill hopes to follow the original intent of RA 9492 and have the President issue proclamations on specific dates that will be declared as holidays the next year.
The proposal indicates the following holidays and special days to be observed:
- New Year's Day - January 1
- Maundy Thursday - Movable date
- Good Friday - Movable date
- Eid al-Fitr - Movable date
- Eid al-Adha - Movable date
- Araw ng Kagitingan - Monday nearest April 9
- Labor Day - Monday nearest May 1
- Independence Day - Monday nearest June 12
- National Heroes Day - Last Monday of August
- Bonifacio Day - Monday nearest November 30
- Christmas Day - December 25
- Rizal Day - Monday nearest December 30
- Chinese New Year - Moveable Date
- EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary - Monday nearest February 25
- Ninoy Aquino Day - Monday nearest August 21
- All Saint's Day - November 1
- Last day of the Year - December 31
Should a holiday fall on a Wednesday, it will be observed on the Monday of that week, while holidays that fall on a weekend will be observed the following Monday.