Chinese New Year (Feb. 3) a working day-Malacanang

Hold those vacation plans! Read this first. (Ed’s Note)

From Yahoo News Philippines

As in previous years, the celebration of the Chinese New Year, which this year falls on Feb. 3, will not be declared a holiday in the Philippines.

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on Wednesday said he would have wanted to adopt the proposal to declare Feb. 3 a nonworking holiday, but the proposal came late, or after he had already issued Proclamation 84, which identifies the regular and special holidays in 2011.

“We hope to include this (Chinese New Year) next year,” Aquino said in a text message to reporters.

He noted that businesses have already adjusted to the original schedule of holidays. He also said the daily wage earners will be adversely affected if the Chinese New Year will be declared a holiday.

Under Proclamation 84, the regular and special holidays are: A. Regular Holidays New Year’s Day – January 1 (Saturday) Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9 (Saturday) Maundy Thursday – April 21 Good Friday – April 22 Labor Day – May 1 (Sunday) Independence Day – June 12 (Sunday) National Heroes Day – August 29 (Last Monday of August) Bonifacio Day – November 30 (Wednesday) Christmas Day – December 25 (Sunday) Rizal Day – December 30 (Friday) B. Special (Non-Working) Days Ninoy Aquino Day – August 21 (Sunday) All Saints Day – November 1 (Tuesday) Last Day of the Year – December 31 (Saturday) C. Special Holiday (for all schools) EDSA Revolution Anniversary – February 25 (Friday)

Mr. Aquino earlier tasked his legal team to study whether the Chinese New Year should be declared a holiday.

The House of Representatives committee on revision of laws has approved a consolidated measure proposing the declaration of Chinese New Year as a special nonworking holiday in the country.

The bill is now up for deliberations.

After the House members discuss the bill on the plenary, they will vote for its approval or rejection. Once the chamber approves the bill on second reading, it will have to go through another deliberation for third reading.

Once the House approves it on third reading, it will be submitted to the Senate for consideration. The Senate will either adopt the House-approved bill or come up with its own version.

A similar bill — Senate Bill 550 authored by Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada — is pending before the Senate committee on education, arts and culture. If there will be differences in the versions of the House and Senate, a bicameral conference committee will be convened to reconcile it. The reconciled bill will be returned to the House and Senate for ratification and then sent to the President for signature. — Amita O. Legaspi/KBK/RSJ, GMANews.TV

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