ARAW NG KALAYAAN – June 12 2015 declared a holiday nationwide

martsa para sa kalayaan 2015
Various groups are planning to do a condemnation rally at the Chinese Embassy on June 12

The Philippines will be observing its 117th annual Independence Day this June 12.

This day has been declared a regular holiday all over the country as stipulated in President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 831, which was released last July. Since the said day falls on a Friday, this holiday will give Filipinos a rare three-day weekend.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, employees are considered paid for this holiday whether they report for work or not regardless of their employment status. However, they have to be present or at least file a leave of absence on the work day immediately preceding the holiday.

On another note, employees who will report for work on June 12 because of the nature of their respective industries should receive twice or 200% of their basic hourly rate (commonly referred to as “double pay”).

araw ng kalayaan 2015
General Emilio Aguinaldo announcing the independence of the Philippines from Spain (Credits: https://gageloniadmojo.wordpress.com)

The next regular holiday will be on August 31, when the country observes the National Heroes Day. Meanwhile, some websites are projecting that this year’s Eid’l Fitr, which is a regular holiday as well day, will fall sometime in mid-July.

The meaning of Independence Day at present

At this point, let’s talk about what the media loves to talk about when the Independence Day comes: What makes this historical milestone relevant to the present generation?

Two years ago, I argued that the independence the Philippines love to tout is rather imperfect. Our much-vaunted freedom of expression is under attack from legislators while the proliferation of political dynasties dramatically constrict our collective freedom of choice during elections.

This year, the emphasis of the Independence Day celebration will most likely focus on the aggressive attempts by China to “reclaim” various territories in West Philippine Sea (or South China Sea, depending on who’s describing it).

martsa para sa kalayaan 2015
Various groups are planning to do a condemnation rally at the Chinese Embassy on June 12

 

A major US publication recently described this area as “history’s next great war zone.” I’m afraid a lot of Filipinos are apathetic or at least not-well informed of this very grave situation. The national media needs to do a far better job covering this issue.

Are we prepared in case the situation worsens into a shooting war? What are the plans of those running for president next year about this issue?

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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