With almost 20 public holidays on record, the Philippines along with Colombia, rank 3rd in the top ten countries in the world with the most number of public holidays. Yet, this number still excludes the special non-working days, additionally announced by Philippine presidential proclamation.
The most recent addition to the Philippines’ list of special non-working days relates to the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit (ASEAN).Being a high-profile event, a recent proclamation was released declaring 13 to 15 November 2017, as three consecutive special non-working days for both private and public offices in the National Capitol Region, Bulacan and Pampanga, to pave the way for the ASEAN conference. These areas will be directly affected by the said activities. While the summit would end on November 14, classes in all educational levels on 16 to 17 November have also been suspended since thousands of delegates are expected to tour Metro Manila after the summit.
Here is a brief overview of the expected impact to the following sectors:
The 31st ASEAN Summitis the second international conference of heads of government to be hosted by the Philippines under the Duterte administration. It will be simultaneously held in Manila and Clark Air Base in Pampanga. Hosting this event will allow the government to highlight Philippine interests in the region. ASEAN integration will allow the Philippines to achieve their goals related to export of products and services, trade, and tourism by working together with Asian nations, rather than individually.
The spontaneous announcement of special non working holidays will certainly affect private employers, who may not have included the disruption of their goods and services due to the holidays into their forecasts, budgets and general agenda. For the regular, full time employees, they are still entitled to receive 100% of their pay.Employees who work on special non-working days are paid at least 130% of the sum of their daily rate and cost of living allowance. There are also delays on services or supplies that companies rely on government agencies to provide that impact their ability to complete tasks. There are also adverse effects on the country’s economy as large transactions tend to get held up, especially those related to the banking and the financial sector. The finances will need to wait for longer periods to be cleared off and therefore get pended.
Holidays are generally beneficial to the well-being of employees and students. It will give them the chance to relax, spend time with family and/or travel. However, laborers who are employed under a no work-no pay scheme will not be able to recover their wage from the unworked holiday and they may not have the funds to afford them the opportunity to travel on the long holidays. Generally, in the metropolitan business districts, the roads are less congested and the shopping malls, grocery stores and areas of entertainment remain open for regular business.
Destination and Immigration Service Providers:
Advance scheduling is key in this industry and special non-working days would lead to various delays in a home search program, school support or even payments for housing and temporary accommodations. The delays would be incurred in their daily operations between global management companies and the assignees. The processing of visas, permits, licenses, approvals; authorizations are placed on hold, customs release of shipments is postponed, all unavoidably creating a significant backlog. Such a disruption in services will most inevitably be felt in the next few weeks.
In conclusion, the unforeseen non-working days in the Philippines has it’s positive and negative effects. While everyone enjoys time off from the hustle and bustle of daily life, we must take into account that not all can afford unexpected business closures.
Upcoming Non-Working Holidays:
01 November, Wednesday – Special Non-Working Day, All Saint’s Day
13 to 15 November, Monday to Wednesday – Additional Special Non-Working Days, ** 31stAsean Summit ***
Headlines, Oct 24, 2017. The Philippine Star.com
Headlines, Oct 23, 2017, CNN Philippines.com
Headlines, Oct 23, 2017, Sunstar.com