October 31 is officially a special non-working holiday, as implemented through Proclamation no. 79, signed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
This decision has made Halloween part of the list of federal holidays in the country.
The Celebration’s Origin
Halloween has been known as the day to celebrate spooky and scary stuff. Some traditions include carving jack-o-lanterns, trick or treat, and even the occasional scary movie marathon. These practices were influenced by the Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would also wear costumes to ward off ghosts. However, October 31 should be a celebration dedicated to the saints rather than ghosts and ghouls. That’s because Halloween actually means All Saint’s Eve.
Subsequently, November 1 also encapsulates the religious tradition as it is the day when people remember their departed loved ones. It is also an “All Saint” celebration known as All Saint’s day. That’s why it was the first one to transition into a federal holiday than Halloween.
The copy of the proclamation has not been made public yet. Even so, Office of the Press Secretary officer-in-charge Cheloy Garafill stated in the Palace press briefing, “The President has already signed the proclamation, declaring October 31 as a special non-working holiday.”
Aside from the government’s respect towards the country’s religious traditions, the decision was also for the sake of the Filipino family relationship. PBBM stated that these additional non-working days are to help “strengthen family ties by providing more time for the traditional All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day activities, as well as promote domestic tourism.”
Since Filipinos are known to be family-oriented, there is a huge potential that many will benefit from this change. Employees and students who are staying far away from their homes are given a chance to travel back to their families and spend more time with them. Others may even use their break to simply relax and focus on themselves to be more productive at work.
How the Declaration Affects the Employees and Companies
October 31 is now a special non-working holiday, and this change applies to the public and private sectors. Because of this, the “no work, no pay” policy enforced by the Department of Labor and Employment has now taken effect. However, this rule has some exemptions, especially for those companies that need to be open even during holidays. They just need to comply with the term that they pay their employees who worked during non-working holidays an additional 30%. This rule applies to the worker’s first eight-hour work and overtime.
The increase in payment may serve these companies in the long run. They can maintain steady production and, at the same time, increase the workers’ morale. As change continues to occur within the country, it’s best to look at things positively.
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