Labor group opposes ‘holiday economics’ bill

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A labor group opposed the proposed bill in the Senate institutionalizing “holiday economics” for its “unproven” benefits to labor and the economy. 

Last Tuesday, Senator Rafael “Raffy” T. Tulfo filed Senate Bill No. 1651, which transfers the commemoration of a holiday falling on a weekend to the following Monday. 

The legislation, the lawmaker said, aims to boost local tourism and reduce employment stress.

In an interview last Wednesday, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) Secretary General Josua Mata criticized the bill for its lack of supporting proof.

“I have yet to see a study that will show that it [holiday economics] has an impact on the economy and to citizens,” Mata said. 

Furthermore, he said the bill also failed to take into consideration its impact on workers. 

“The whole idea of holiday economics is that people can actually go on holiday. How can you go on a holiday when you are worried about your jobs, you don’t have a job, or even if you have a job, you don’t have the resources to allow you to travel? It doesn’t make sense,” Mata said. 

The labor leader also pointed out that transferring the commemoration of important holidays can lessen the importance of the said events. 

“Sentro actually objects to the imposition of holiday economics especially for red letter days for the labor movement like May 1, Nov. 30 (Bonifacio Day), Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor). The commemoration of those days should not be changed because these are days designed to commemorate actual historical events and figures who are important to us,” Mata said.

The institutionalized practice of holiday economics was first implemented during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through Republic Act No. 9492. 

It was discontinued during the time of former President Benigno S. Aquino III until it was revived by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for this year under Proclamation No. 90.

Image credits: Nonoy Lacza