On May 1, which falls on Sunday this year, the Philippines will celebrate its 109th Labor Day. And because most laborers love non-working holidays, the big question now is will the holiday for the Labor Day be moved to Monday? Well, for the year 2011, May 1 falls on Sunday, and will be considered as regular holiday on that same day, not on the next day, and not on May 2 on Monday. This is outlined by Proclamation No. 84 signed by president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. There has been no other presidential proclamation signed declaring May 2 as a holiday. It was June 20 that was proclaimed by PNoy as a special non-working holiday through Proclamation No. 154 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippine National Hero, Jose Rizal.
So the news is… we need to work on Monday. If you are planning to include that day on your vacation list, you need to take a formal leave approved by your employer. Unlike the previous administration, which usually moves holidays falling on Sundays to the next day, most of this year’s holidays will be recognized on the days they are actually commemorated. For employers, this can be a good news, but for employees and workers, this can be a disappointing news. Anyway, let’s just look forward for the 2012 Labor Day, which will be held on Monday.
Labor Day is held around the world to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. It has origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. In the Philippines, Labor Day is celebrated to honor all Filipino workers (government, private or overseas) and re-affirm the greater social partnership of labor with the government and other sectors. The Filipinos will be conducting and participating in various activities, including marches, rallies, and meetings by some sectors in the labor movement. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), teaming up with the Philippine top companies, will also conduct various “job fairs” across the regions of our country.
In celebrating the Labor Day on Sunday, let’s reassure ourselves to direct our path to better actions that can help our nation grow. Let’s not just put the blame purely on the government officials. Remember that we are also part of the government, and that we can only develop the government by developing ourselves first. If we are unemployed right now, or if we are only receiving small amounts of wages, which can be inadequate to cover the rising prices of goods and commodities in the market, let’s take them as challenges to combat the real cause of poverty in the Philippines – the poverty of individual. When I say poverty, I’m not only pertaining the lack of money, but also the lack of mindset, will, care, action and consistency.