Saturday, February 27, 2021

Biggest Labor Coalition Strongly Objects to Delisting of December 31 as Non-Working Holiday

The NAGKAISA Labor Coalition slams President Rodrigo Duterte's executive act delisting December 31 (New Year's Eve) from the list of our national holidays for 2021.

First, they want to open the economy without protecting workers from Covid-19. Then, they want to trade away our nurses for vaccines. This "nurses for vaccines barter proposal" of the Philippine government was confirmed by our German and UK trade union sources, but was rebuffed by both German and British governments on ethical grounds: Labor is not a commodity. 

Now, they want to remove our labor standards benefits! 

It now appears that there is a trend to intensify the exploitation of workers under the guise of "economic recovery"! The pattern is clear. They intend to save the economy by sacrificing the working class. This is a classic way of capital accumulation!

Among the three (3) special days deleted, only December 31 is considered a special nationwide holiday in Article 94 paragraph (c) of the Labor Code, which was adopted in 1974. The biggest labor coalition admits that November 2 and December 24 were never considered as special non-working holidays under existing laws.

Under RA 9492 (2007) and RA 9849 (2009), there are 14 non-working holidays: 11 regular and three special holidays.

The removal of the last day of the year from the list of special holidays may be considered contrary to these legislative acts.

Though some may argue that Section 26 of the Administrative Code (E.O.292) authorizes the president to modify by order or proclamation the regular holidays and special days,  NAGKAISA argues the principle of non-diminution of benefits. 

Further, reporting to work on the last day of the year, between two regular holidays is impractical. Workers have been enjoying December 31 as a special holiday with premium pay, for several decades now bolsters our vehement objection to its delisting. 

NAGKAISA Press Statement
February 27, 2021

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