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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Holiday pay

The law is clear on the compensation due to workers on regular and special holidays.

By Riva Khristine Maala

There are 10 regular holidays in the Philippines:

New Year's Day (January 1), Maundy Thursday (date movable), Good Friday (date movable), Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9), Labor Day (May 1), Independence Day (June 12), National Heroes Day (last Sunday of August), Bonifacio Day (November 30), Christmas Day (December 25), and Rizal Day (December 30). Workers who do not report for work on any of these days are entitled to holiday pay equivalent to 100 percent of their basic pay if they had been present or on leave with pay on the working day immediately preceding the holiday. The holiday pay prevents any reduction in a worker's monthly income on account of work interruptions. In other words, although a worker is forced to rest on a holiday, he earns his pay for that day even if he does not report for work. If he is allowed or forced to work on a holiday, he is entitled to at least 200 percent of his basic pay, and if the holiday falls on his scheduled rest day, he gets 200 percent of his basic pay plus 30 percent.

The regular holidays aside, the Philippines also observes two holidays called Special Holidays: All Saints' Day (on November 1) and December 31, the last day of the year. An employee reporting for work on any of these days earns his regular wage plus 30 percent. If the special holiday falls on his scheduled rest day, he earns his regular wage plus 50 percent.

The Philippines also recognizes five Muslim holidays: Amun Jadid (New Year), on the first day of the lunar month of Muharram; Maulid-un-Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad), on the 12th day of the third lunar month of Rabi-ul-Awwal; Lailatul Isra Wal Mi Rai (Nocturnal Journey and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad), on the 27th day of the seventh lunar month of Rajab; Id-ul-Fitr (Hari Raja Pausa), on the first day of the 10th lunar month of Shawwal, and which commemorates the end of the fasting season; and Id-ul-Adha (Hari Raha Haji) on the 10th day of the 12th lunar month of Dhu'l-Hijja. These official holidays are observed in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, and in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian and Zamboanga. The Office of the President determines the dates of the Muslim holidays by consulting the Hijra, the Muslim Lunar Calendar.

The law on holiday pay applies to all employees except the following: those working in the government or any of its political subdivisions, retail and service establishments employing less than 10 workers, domestic helpers, people in the personal service of another, managers, field personnel, employees whose performance is unsupervised by their employer, people working on contract or commission, and those paid a fixed amount to do something regardless of the time they use in doing it.

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