Whatever happened to Republic Act 9492, otherwise known as the Holiday Economics Law?
Congress enacted RA 9492 in 2007 to rationalize the celebration of national holidays in the Philippines. It mandated that majority of holidays be moved to the nearest Monday, allowing Filipinos to enjoy a three-day weekend.
The Arroyo administration pushed for the passage of this law in the belief that it would spur domestic tourism during the long weekends. However, the succeeding Aquino administration discontinued the practice, invoking a clause in RA 9492 that holidays can be observed on their original dates “unless otherwise modified by law, and or proclamation.”
Now comes the business community complaining we have too many non-working holidays that disrupt their operations, revenues, and net income. The entrepreneurs are particularly peeved at three pending bills in the legislature proposing even more holidays.
As of last count, there are 21 non-working holidays in the country compared to 12-15 in other ASEAN member states. The list does not include local holidays that provincial boards and city councils perennially declare.
Instead of declaring more new holidays, can we just properly implement RA 9492 to put order and sanity into our holiday celebrations?