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Netizens question quick mods to 2021 holidays: Para sa bayan ba talaga?

The government—particularly the Office of the President—seems to have its priorities misplaced. Again.

Perhaps more surprising than the IATF’s sudden approval of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare workers is Duterte modifying select holidays for 2021.

As netizens were reeling from the IATF announcement last Friday, February 26, Malacañang dropped what can only be described as another bomb the same day.

In yet another surprise move, President Rodrigo Duterte approved an amendment to the list of official holidays for this year, bringing back the “special working holiday” category for November 2, December 24, and December 31.

That’s All Souls Day on a Tuesday, Christmas Eve on a Friday, and the Last Day of the Year on Friday.

Proclamation No. 1107 cited the need to “recover from the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” as Duterte’s reason for taking back the special non-working holiday status of these dates.

This left netizens scratching their heads, including some who have quite the following.

There were those who called the proclamation “stupid” along with the reason why it was made in the first place.

One netizen even raised the importance of the government’s use of the terms working and non-working holidays.

The proclamation, however, had a lukewarm reception for some netizens—but only because they were already used to working during holidays.

Implications on blue-collar workers

Should this proclamation not be repealed, it could leave most blue-collar workers like promodisers and kitchen staff short-handed—or, at least with less money in their pockets.

Labor Advisory No. 12, issued by the Department of Labor and Employment on December 16, 2019, says a “no work, no pay” rule applies to all employees who work during a non-working holiday unless there is a company policy that grants them pay on special days.

In the event there is one, employees will receive an additional 30% of their basic wage for the first 8 hours of work.

Regular holidays are meted double an employee’s basic wage, hence the reason why they are described as “double pay”. Blue-collar workers, however, find it hard to not work on special non-working holidays, which will leave them with less money in their pockets come November 2, December 24, and December 31.

As of this writing, DOLE has yet to issue any revisions to its holiday pay rules for 2021.

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