The nation will be commemorating the 77th anniversary of the historic “Battle of Leyte Gulf” this October 20, Wednesday.

The day is a special non-working holiday in the province of Leyte as stipulated in Republic Act 1745, which was enacted into law in 1957 during the term of then-President Carlos P. Garcia. The full text of RA 1745 can be accessed here.

According to an article posted by the National Museum of the United States Navy, the aforementioned date is a turning point in World War II because that is when four Sixth Army divisions from the United States Navy landed in Red Beach, Palo, Leyte. Later in the day, American military leader General Douglas MacArthur gave his “I have returned” radio message to the Philippine people – almost three years after he made his famous vow to return.

The Japanese tried to prevent the Americans from advancing but they suffered heavy losses instead, paralyzing the Imperial Japanese Navy as an offensive force. It was a huge contributor in Japan’s eventual defeat. The Battle of Leyte Gulf is now regarded as the largest naval battle of the entire war.

october 20 2021 holiday leyte
October 20, 2021 is a special non-working holiday in Leyte (Photo credits: Australian War Memorial)

According to the 2020 DOLE handbook on workers statutory monetary benefits, the “no work, no pay” principle applies during special non-working holidays. Meaning, workers who are not required or permitted to work on special non-working days are not entitled to any compensation unless there is a collective bargaining agreement or a company policy that provides for that.

The handbook likewise highlighted that employees who work during special non-working days are entitled to receive an additional pay of 30% for every hour that they render service.

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