Filipinos nationwide will mark the annual celebration of Labor Day (or Araw ng Paggawa) on May 1, which this year falls on Sunday. The day has been declared a regular holiday throughout the country through Proclamation 1105, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III last August 2015.
Labor Day is the fifth national holiday for 2016, with the next one coming on June 12 for the Independence Day which also falls on Sunday. It must be noted that it is highly unlikely for the celebration of Labor Day to be moved to May 2 because President Aquino has long abandoned the so-called “holiday economics” policy of his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
While a vast majority of Filipinos will not be reporting for work on May 1 because it is a Sunday, the same may not be true for those working in certain industries like business process outsourcing firms. In that case, they are entitled to receive “100% of his/her minimum wage rate even if he/she did not report for work.” In other words, they should receive their daily salary in full even if they just stayed home. This applies to all workers regardless of their employment status (regular, contractual, etc.).
Meanwhile, those who will report for work on May 1 should get 200% of their regular rate for every hour of service rendered, which in common parlance is referred to as “double pay.” To be able to avail of these benefits, employees are required to be present or should on leave of absence with pay on the work day immediately preceding the holiday.
LABOR ISSUES AND THE 2016 ELECTIONS
This year’s Labor Day will be observed just eight days before the national and local elections. Ideally, labor-related issues like raising the minimum wage, ending contractualization, tax reform for low and middle income workers, among others, should be vigorously discussed by those running for office. Are these happening?