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April 2 2016 declared a holiday in Bulacan – Francisco Balagtas Day

The country will commemorate the 228th birth anniversary of literary giant and famed orator Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar’s 225th birth anniversary this April 2, 2016, Saturday. President Benigno Aquino III has declared the said day as a special non-working holiday in the province of Bulacan through Proclamation 1239, which can be read in full here.

A native of Bulacan who died in Bataan, Balagtas is best known for “Florante at Laura,” a standard reading for sophomore high school students nationwide. For most Filipinos, the book is memorable for the lines: “O, pag-ibig na makapangyarihan / Kapag pumasok sa puso ninuman / Hahamakin ang lahat, masunod ka lamang …”

franciso balagtas baltazar

Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar (1788-1862)

According to the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Handbook on Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, employees who won’t report for work are not bound to get paid on special non-working holidays unless there is a “voluntary practice or provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)” providing for payment of wages and other benefits on such days.

Meanwhile, those who report for work should get 130% of their regular salary for every hour of service rendered. The labor department also emphasized that employees “must be present or is on leave of absence with pay on the work day” immediately preceding the holiday (April 8, in this case). Read the above mentioned DOLE handbook in this link.

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