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“Long weekend” legislation to expand holiday economies and increase tourism

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A Senate bill would broaden the scope of “holiday economics” to increase domestic travel and make better use of additional vacation days.

Republic Act (RA) 9492, also known as the Act Rationalizing the Celebration of National Holidays, will be modified by Senate Bill 1651, introduced by Senator Raffy Tulfo, so that a holiday falls on a weekend will be considered non-working the following Monday.

In accordance with RA 9492, which was signed in 2007, if the holiday falls on a Wednesday, it will be observed on the following Monday.

Holidays falling on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.

The law suggests that the President declare certain dates as non-working days for the upcoming year via a proclamation that is made on the first Monday in December.

“Holidays are essential for honoring and remembering significant historical, religious, or cultural moments or customs. These days may occasionally fall on a weekend, making them less joyous for certain people, according to the explanatory note.

On November 11, 2022, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin issued Proclamation 90, which already modified the days observed as holidays.

The declaration stated that “a long weekend will assist boost domestic travel and increase tourism expenditures in the country.”

Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) observance has been relocated for 2023 to April 10, the closest Monday to its original date, April 9.

The proclamation also changes Bonifacio Day to be observed on November 27, which is the next Monday to its original date of Nov. 30.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s decision to modify the list of holidays and non-working days, according to Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, will increase tourism and enhance passengers’ experiences overall.

The law said that by giving people more opportunities to unwind and spend time with their loved ones, longer weekends “may help decrease stress, minimize burnout, and promote work-life balance for both employees and students.”

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