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PIA Press Release

Feature: Two long weekends in August

Baguio City (13 August) -- This August, the country will have two long weekends following the signing into law Republic Act 9492 or an Act Rationalizing the Celebration of National Holidays.

The law mandates that most holidays, except those with religious significance, are moved to the nearest Monday.

This will first be effected on the Ninoy Aquino Day which falls on August 21, a Tuesday, which will now be automatically moved to August 20, Monday.

The National Heroes Day which is celebrated every last Sunday of August will now be celebrated last Monday of August. Thus, for this year, August 27 will also be a holiday.

The regular holidays namely Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9), Labor Day(May 1), Independence Day (June 12), Bonifacio Day (November 30) and Rizal Day (December 30) are now observed on the Monday nearest said dates.

The RA signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last July 25, 2007 states that in the event the holiday falls on a Wednesday, the holiday will be observed on the Monday of the week. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the Monday that follows."

Exempted from holiday economics - that is, holidays will be observed on the date on which they fall are Christmas Day (December 25), New Year's Day (January 1), All Saint's Day (November 1), Last day of the year (December 31), Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Eid'l Fitre (movable dates).

President Arroyo, who coined the term holiday economics, introduced the policy in 2001 to encourage domestic tourism with employees having long weekends and to reduce disruption to business and production schedules.

The National Statistical Coordination Board figures showed that if tourism businesses and related industries increase by 10% as a result of the long weekends, the economy would experience a 3.5 percent growth in gorss domestic product.

With this law, employers will now be able to plan out their work schedule without interruption since holidays are already known unlike before when there were sudden announcements of special non-working holidays which interrupt business.

Under the country's labor laws, employers must pay 200% of the daily rate to those employees who report for work on legal holidays like New Year's Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Eid'l Fitr, Araw ng Kagitingan, Labor Day, Independence Day, National heroes Day, Bonifacio Day, Christmas Day and Rizal Day.

On special holidays, employers must pay 30 percent over the regular rate. These are the Ninoy Aquino Day, All Saints Day, December 31, and holidays that may be declared from time to time by the President. (PIA) [top]

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