MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang supports the position taken by the Department of Labor and Employment against more holidays this year, as having more outside the government’s 2012 holiday schedule would set back the country’s bid to be an investment haven, a Palace official said on Thursday, February 23.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also said in a news briefing that having more holidays would hurt daily wage earners, which is one of the reasons cited by DOLE in opposing additional holidays this year, in view of 15 pending measures seeking more holiday declarations in the country.
“We agree with the Department of Labor to be more cautious in declaring additional holidays. Right now we have, I think, 18 holidays. And the President is very, very concerned. Again, he wants this country to be a haven for investment and we want to showcase the Filipinos’ competitiveness and productivity. And having too many holidays does affect productivity and competitiveness,” he said.
Asked if Malacañang would likely not support 15 pending measures in the House and the Senate seeking to declare more holidays, Lacierda said, “We have not seen the bills yet but as a policy, we would like to ensure productivity and competitiveness in our business environment. But we’ll have to check…those bills.”
He said that in the meantime, there will be no changes on the holiday schedule for this year.
The Philippines – said to have the most number of holidays in the Asia-Pacific–is observing 18 holidays this year – 12 regular holidays requiring double pay for those who work on these days, and six nonworking holidays that grants 30 percent additional pay.
The Aquino administration does not favor holiday economics, and has not opted to move the observance of a holiday to the nearest Monday, as had been done by previous administrations, to allow families to enjoy a long weekend. – Rappler.com