The Philippines will be celebrating its 118th Independence Day this June 12, Sunday. It is a regular holiday nationwide as stipulated in outgoing President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 1105, which he signed last August 2015.
Given the date’s historical significance and the administration’s resistance to the Arroyo government’s past practice of holiday economics, it is not likely that the Independence Day holiday will be moved to June 13 to create a three-day weekend.
Although a vast majority of Filipinos will not be working on June 12 because it falls on a Sunday, employees in certain sectors particularly in the business process outsourcing industry might be required to go on duty.
In that case, they must receive 200% of their regular hourly rate depending on the number of hours of service rendered (this is commonly referred to as “double pay”). This is in accordance to the rules set by the Department of Labor and Employment.
Filipinos didn’t always celebrate our independence day every June 12. From 1946 to 1964, July 4 was the date designated for that. It was in July 4, 1946 when the Americans formally ended their colonization of the Philippines. This also effectively ended the Commonwealth Government that they established in 1935.
In 1964, then-President Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act 4166 which moved the date from July 4 to June 12. This was done to make Filipinos “recall the heroes of the revolution against Spain and their acts of sublime heroism and martyrdom.”
Macapagal in turn designated July 4 as the Philippine Republic Day, still a national holiday. Twenty years later, then-President Ferdinand Marcos declared July 4 as Filipino-American Friendship Day, a working holiday. The practice has since been discontinued with the framing of the 1987 Constitution.