Exporters have aired concerns over moves to increase the number of holidays in the country, claiming these will drastically affect labor productivity and the cost on doing business.
In a statement, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) said it had sent a letter to Senator Francis Escudero expressing worries over bills pending before the education, arts and culture committee.
The group particularly cited Senate bills 304, 404 and 865 that call for a July 27 holiday to commemorate the founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
“It is understood that the said bills are well-intentioned. However, it raises the issue on necessity as well as their heavy impact on labor productivity and cost of production inasmuch as they serve to further increase the number of non-working days already provided by law,” Philexport said in the letter to Escudero, who chairs the education, arts and culture committee.
The group said the country already enjoys 15 national non-working days and workers also have special benefits such as solo parent and maternity leaves, among others.
“Moreover, the law also grants the president discretionary power to proclaim additional regular and special days pursuant to Republic Act 9492 seeking to rationalize the celebration of national holidays in the country,” it said, adding that this has led to regular holiday proclamations for elections and Black Saturday.
Local governments can also announce non-working holidays and work suspensions can also be declared during typhoons, floods and other calamities, Philexport said.