2017 ends with 21 gov’t holidays

January 3, 2018 at 10:47

2017 ends with 21 gov’t holidays

The Philippine Star | December 29, 


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The Philippines will end 2017 with 21 national government holidays, the most ever declared in recent memory.

That number of public sector non-working days is the second highest in the world, next only to Sri Lanka, which has 25 for 2017, according to worldatlas.com.

The Philippines tied for second place with India, which like Sri Lanka, has a number of nationally-observed religious and ethnic festivals.

In contrast, the Philippines’ former colonial master, the United States, has 10 federal holidays for 2017, while the Philippines’ other former imperial master, Spain, where Filipinos supposedly acquired the mañana habit, has only nine national public holidays for this year.

Hong Kong, the typical overseas holiday destination of Filipinos, has 17. Workaholic Japan is not far off with 15 national holidays.

The number of state sector holidays for 2017 does not yet include the Metro Manila-specific non-working days like April 27-28 and Nov. 1315, which gave government workers in Manila, Makati, and Pasay five extra vacation days to make way for the ASEAN Summit events.

And for government employees with offices in Manila, the courts included, Jan. 9 (Feast of the Black Nazarene), April 12 (half day for Holy Wednesday), July 26-27 (Typhoon Gorio), and Oct. 16-17 (transport strike) which added five and a half more days.

Not counting Araw ng Maynila, that makes a grand total of 31.5 days of paid no-work days – make that 32 for the usual half-day work today, the last working day of the year.

Because of the shortened Yuletide work week, many government offices have switched to a holiday mode, some as early as mid-December.

The Intellectual Property Office has, for one, dropped all pretense that any meaningful office work will get done between Christmas and New Year.

After the long Christmas weekend, the trademark office annually closes shop for Dec. 27-29, with the last day being declared “fumigation day” to rid itself of certain pests.

Still, nothing beats the work schedule of the judiciary, save perhaps Congress and schools with their session and semestral breaks.

Thanks to a late 2015 law, all judges are now entitled to an extra 30 days of “forfeitable” leave on top of the standard 15 days of paid annual vacation leave and 15 days of paid sick leave.

Those 60 non-work days are on top of “recess from decision writing” from the second half of December up to the first week of January that Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno has instituted. The return of airline fuel surcharge

In what could presage an industry trend for 2018, Philippine Airlines has filed for government approval to tack on fuel surcharge on both local and international fares.

PAL has petitioned the Civil Aeronautics Board to add $4 each way for the Manila-Hong Kong flight, for example, and $44 each way for the popular ManilaLos Angeles service.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the price of jet fuel in mid-December had risen by over 20 percent to $76.20 a barrel from a year ago.

PAL, Cebu Pacific, and other airlines removed the fuel surcharge in early 2015 upon CAB’s order, after the price of jet fuel dropped by about half to around $60 a barrel.

For this new PAL petition, the CAB, under hearing officer Maria Elben Morro, has scheduled a first session on Jan. 10.

Source: https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/the-philippine-star/20171229/281891593650073

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