MANILA, Philippines — April 7 is a “non-working holiday,” Malacañang has announced.
The day will mark Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), which is traditionally commemorated on April 9, when the province of Bataan fell to the Japanese during World War II.
The declaration is in keeping with the Arroyo administration’s policy of rationalizing the observance of national and special holidays under Republic Act 9492.
To implement RA 9492, President Arroyo signed on Feb. 18, 2008 Proclamation No. 1463 which set the specific dates of movable holidays.
Thus, the observance of Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as Bataan Day, will be moved to the nearest Monday, April 7.
On April 9, 1942, Major General Edward P. King, Jr., commander of the Luzon Force in Bataan, surrendered more than 75,000 starving and disease-stricken Filipino and American troops to the Japanese forces.
The prisoners were forced to endure the 90-mile (140-kilometer) “Bataan Death March” from Mariveles, Bataan, to Capas, Tarlac.
Under the labor law, employers must pay 200 percent of their daily rate to employees who report for work on legal holidays — New Year’s Day, Araw ng Kagitingan, Labor Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Independence Day, the last Sunday of August (National Heroes Day), the end of Ramadan, November 30, Christmas Day, and December 30.
President Arroyo made holiday economics — the practice of moving observance of holidays in order to give workers long weekends — as an official government policy when she signed RA 9492 into law.
RA 9492 provides that holidays, except those which are religious in nature, are moved to the nearest Monday unless otherwise modified by law, order of proclamation.
The “movable days” are Bataan Day (April 9), Labor Day (1 May), Independence Day (June 12), Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21), National Heroes Day (August 31), Bonifacio Day (November 30) , and Rizal Day (December 30).
Exempted from the policy are Christmas Day (December 25), New Year’s Eve (December 31), New Year’s Day (January 1), Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Eid’l Fitre (October 13), and All Saints’ Day (November 1).