Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Much Needed R&R

It will be a grand, week-long Christmas vacation for the country’s workforce, and hefty pay awaits those who will work during the seven straight days of regular and special non-working holidays this December.

Based on Proclamation No. 1463 issued last February by President Arroyo, Dec. 1 is the next holiday on the calendar, for the celebration of Bonifacio Day.

While Bonifacio Day normally falls on Nov. 30, the law rationalizing holidays moved the date to the Monday nearest to Nov. 30, which is Dec. 1.

The holidays this year will start on Thursday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day, and the following day, Dec. 26, has been declared a special non-working holiday.

After the weekend, there will be four days without work as Dec. 29 has been declared a special non-working holiday; Dec. 30 is Rizal Day; Dec. 31, being the last day of the year, is also a special non-working holiday; and Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, is a regular holiday.

Because Jan. 1 falls on a Thursday, the President could still declare Jan. 2 a special non-working holiday since it is so close to the weekend.

However, Malacañang has not yet made any announcement to that effect.

The adjustment of the dates for holidays was provided for under a new law in order to rationalize the country’s holidays and is in line with the so-called holiday economics, which encourages workers and their families to travel around the country and even shop, thereby helping the economy.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that workers are entitled to at least 490 percent additional pay if they opt to report for work during the week-long holiday.

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesman Alex Aguilar, however, doubted if workers would choose to vacation at this time of financial crisis.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), meantime, reported yesterday that many commercial establishments nationwide are no longer requiring their workers to work overtime to avoid additional costs.

But chairman Miguel Varela said ECOP welcomes the week-long holiday.

“Employers are not really keen on long holidays, but since this is Christmas, why not give the workers a long break,” he explained.

this is by far great news for those in the labor force, especially since it's Christmas. employees should be rewarded for their hard work so that they would be motivated to work harder in the coming year. but then again the moving of holiday dates like the Nov 30 to Dec 1 issue, i think defeats the purpose of why we celebrate Bonifacio Day although i do know most of us don't give a damn about this holidays, but it's like saying why don't we move your birthday a day later? :)

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