Palace clarifies Oct. 31, Nov. 2 holidays

- Aurea Calica () - October 22, 2006 - 12:00am
After declaring Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 as regular working days, Malacañang clarified yesterday it would be up to the discretion of owners of private companies to give their employees the days off during these days since only Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day, is a holiday.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the major concern of private companies will be the holiday pay for employees once the government declares a holiday.

"Maybe what will happen is that, as far as the private companies are concerned, (the duration of the Halloween break) that’s up to the management," Bunye said.

"So it’s discretionary on the part of private management as to what arrangement they want to have with their employees," Bunye said over radio station dzRB.

Filipinos usually want a longer Halloween break because of the time-honored tradition of visiting their loved ones’ graves, usually in cemeteries in the provinces, on Nov. 1 or 2, which is All Souls’ Day.

Bunye said the government would now avoid the declaration of special holidays without proper consultations with the affected sectors.

"We have to consider the implications of this to the grant of holiday pay and holiday premium," he said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita earlier said that private companies were complaining that long holidays disrupt company operations.

Mrs. Arroyo has adopted a policy of holiday economics, which moves certain holidays to a Friday or a Monday so the people can enjoy long weekends.

There used to be up to 10 days of vacation for government employees when the policy was first implemented but the business sector objected to it due to the effect on company operations.

Businessmen also complained of the lack of an early advisory from the government regarding holidays.

ALL SAINTS ALL SOULS BUNYE COMPANIES EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA HOLIDAY MALACA MRS. ARROYO PRESS SECRETARY IGNACIO BUNYE PRIVATE
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