Amcham hits too many holidays in Philippines | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor
The business community has risen as one in protest over too many non-working, paid holidays.
In a series of letters sent to Malacaang and both Houses of Congress, business organizations led by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in the Philippines have asked top government officials to stop legalizing more non-working holidays.
The protest letters were addressed to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.
The penchant of government to declare non-working holidays on short notice that was started by the previous administration, they argued, has undermined the competitiveness of Philippine industries.
In its latest count, the American Chamber of Commerce listed 12 regular holidays from New Years day on Jan. 1 to Dec. 30 which is Rizal Day.
Amcham also listed three special days that include Ninoy Aquino day on Aug. 21, All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and Last Day of the Year on Dec. 31. It also listed ten additional non-working days including those triggered off by typhoons and ipit na araw or days sandwhiched between an official holiday and a weekend.
In all, Philippine officials declare an average of 25 non-working days a year in addition to workers day-offs. Non-working holidays here are higher than in most countries in Asia. Hong Kong comes closest with 17 holidays.
Under Philippine labor laws, workers get premium wages to as much as double their daily rates if they are asked by their employers to work during holidays.
It was further pointed out that in the House of Representatives, 13 new bills declaring more non-working holidays, are awaiting enactment into law. These include proposals to declare the Chinese New Year as an official holiday, one declaring the whole week from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1 as a holiday, coming out with a Tandang Sora Day, an Iglesia ni Kristo Day, Lapu-Lapu Day and National Boxing Day.
Amcham president John Forbes asked Congress to invite business leaders during public hearings on the proposed additional holidays to get their views on this matter before more holidays are declared.
The different chambers suggested that instead of declaring more non-working holidays, the government should simply name some special days as working holidays.
Philexport News and Features