The Gist


The working class would have to spend more days in the office as President Rodrigo Duterte declared All Souls’ Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve as special working holidays to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

/ 4 March 2021

The Filipino people are witnesses to the country’s inefficiency in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Philippine economy shrank a record 9.5 percent in 2020, its worst annual dip since 1946. 

To alleviate its effects, President Rodrigo Duterte has amended the list of 2021 holidays.

Under the new proclamation, the country’s 10 regular holidays for 2021 are New Year’s Day (January 1, Friday); Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9, Friday); Maundy Thursday (April 1); Good Friday (April 2); Labor Day (May 1, Saturday); Independence Day (June 12, Saturday); National Heroes Day (August 30, last Monday of August); Bonifacio Day (November 30, Tuesday); Christmas Day (December 25, Saturday); and Rizal Day (December 30, Thursday).

Meanwhile, the six special non-working days are Chinese New Year (February 12, Friday); EDSA People Power Revolution (February 25, Thursday); Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21, Saturday); Black Saturday (April 3); All Saints’ Day (November 1, Monday); and Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (December 8, Wednesday).

President Duterte also declared All Soul’s Day (November 1), Christmas Eve (December 24), and New Year’s Eve (December 31) as special working holidays

This means that employees who chose to work on these days are not subjected to additional compensation or special employee incentives. 

“For the country to recover from the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to encourage economic productivity by, among others, minimizing work disruption and commemorating some special holidays as special [working] days instead,” Duterte’s proclamation 1107 read.

The news was not received well by the working class. 

“To white-collar employees, this is just another ‘rest’ issue but to those counting on the extra holiday pays (in the Labor Code +30% if worked during special non-working) this matters. This is just anti-poor at its finest,” one Twitter user said. 


Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Malacanang to revoke its decision. 

According to Hontiveros, the proclamation would only exploit the working class considering that a lot of them are already underpaid and struggling with high prices of market goods. 

While we understand the need to increase economic productivity, demoting special Filipino holidays to special working holidays will only burden and demoralize Filipino workers, many of whom are already underpaid and struggling with high prices of goods, This is rubbing salt on the people’s wounds,” she said. 

“What is the motivation to suddenly make them working holidays? There are other special non-working holiday that could have been considered as a special working holiday, but Christmas Eve at New Year’s Eve? It should have been understood that there are non-negotiable dates,” the Senator stressed.


With proclamation 1107 present, it is evident that the working class will once again suffer due to the inefficiency of the Philippine government.