12/22/2010

2011 Philippine Holidays

At last, after so much speculation, Malacañang announced the holidays for 2011. Too bad though that there will be fewer long weekends next year as compared to this year. It will be an adjustment for the Filipinos who have gotten used to former President Gloria Arroyo's longer weekends.

According to Proclamation No. 84, the following regular holidays and special days for the year 2011 shall be observed in the country:

A. Regular Holidays
New Year’s Day – January 1 (Saturday)
Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9 (Saturday)
Maundy Thursday – April 21
Good Friday – April 22
Labor Day – May 1 (Sunday)
Independence Day – June 12 (Sunday)
National Heroes Day – August 29 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day – November 30 (Wednesday)
Christmas Day – December 25 (Sunday)
Rizal Day – December 30 (Friday)

B. Special (Non-Working) Days
Ninoy Aquino Day – August 21 (Sunday)
All Saints Day – November 1 (Tuesday)
Last Day of the Year – December 31 (Saturday) C. Special Holiday (for all schools)
EDSA Revolution Anniversary – February 25 (Friday)

"Proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul AdhaHijra, or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations, whichever is possible or convenient, will be issued after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar," Proclamation No. 84 says.

Even though Proclamation No. 84 cites Republic Act No. 9492—which moves holidays, except those religious in nature, to the nearest Monday—Proclamation No. 84 returns the commemoration of holidays back to their original dates.

Only at least three holidays will give the public long weekends: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; National Heroes' Day (August 29, the last Monday of August); and Rizal Day (December 30, Friday).

For students, there will be four long weekends after the EDSA Revolution Anniversary on February 25 (Friday) has been declared a special holiday for schools.

President Benigno Aquino III shall have the discretion whether or not to move holidays that are not religious in nature to the nearest Monday because RA 9492 says the said holidays can be moved "unless otherwise modified by law, and/or proclamation."

He said the legality of not moving holidays to the nearest Monday was settled when Aquino declared Aug. 23, 2010 (Monday) a regular working day even though former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had moved the commemoration of Ninoy Aquino Day from August 21, a Saturday, to the nearest Monday.

Under RA 9492, holidays that are not religious in nature can be moved to the nearest Monday "unless otherwise modified by law, and/or proclamation."

While I don't like the idea of longer weekends due to holiday economics because it will somehow affect my travel plans, I agree in restoring the exact dates of the holidays especially those with historical and cultural nature. Somehow, former President Arroyo's holiday economics affected the Filipino psyche in recognizing the importance of our history as an important part of the Filipino heritage.

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