Philippines: Pimentel asks Arroyo to stop playing with legal holidays

Jun. 14, 2007

MANILA — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel,
Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called for an end to
Malacaangs distasteful practice of moving important
legal holidays to other days to give the people a long
weekend in line with the administrations so called
holiday economics.

Pimentel said this practice dilutes the importance and
meaning of the holidays which are intended to enable
the Filipino people to commemorate landmark events
that have shaped the history and development of the

He expressed dismay over President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyos directive declaring June 12, this
year (Tuesday) as working holiday and June 11 (Monday)
a non-working holiday. June 12 marks the annual
observance of the anniversary of Philippine

President Arroyo trivializes important public
holidays, like Independence Day, by moving the
celebration to other days. Changes cause holidays to
lose meaning and transform them into leisure days when
people in the cities go malling, the minority leader

Although June 12 was made a working holiday, the
traditional ceremonies and programs in celebration of
Independence Day were held throughout the country on
that day just the same.

As a consequence, Pimentel said the people could not
participate in the Independence Day rites in their
respective communities since they either had to go to
work or school.

He said the adverse effects of this was very evident
in lack of public enthusiasm and sparse crowd at the
Independence Day Parade in front of the Quirino
Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila last Tuesday.

Pimentel said that while the size of the crowd at the
Independence Day parade was disappointing, multitudes
of people who were aboard their cars or public
transport on their way to workplaces were cursing the
government because of the monstrous traffic jams on
the roads leading to Rizal Park.

This was the first time in the countrys history when
Independence Day was declared a working holiday. This
was embodied in President Arroyos Proclamation No.
1211 issued last January.

Ironically, Pimentel said Mrs. Arroyo, by issuing
Proclamation 1211, in effect overturned the
declaration of her own father in 1964 transferring
Independence Day from July 4 to June 12.

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