July 27 2022 declared a working holiday nationwide – 108th anniversary of Iglesia ni Cristo
The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ in English), perhaps the largest and most powerful religious group from the Philippines, will be celebrating its 108th foundation anniversary this July 27, Wedesday. The day is a special working holiday nationwide as mandated by Republic Act 9645.
RA 9465 became law in 2009 during the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The law praises INC for its “exemplary feat of leading its members towards spiritual enlightenment and good citizenry.” Media organizations typically estimate the membership of INC at around three million.
Unfortunately, INC members who report for work on this day will not receive any additional renumeration. According to the 2022 Department of Labor and Employment Handbook on Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, no premium pay is required since work performed on a special work day is considered similar to working on an ordinary workday.
During past congresses, there had been proposed bills from several legislators to have July 27 of every year as a special non-working holiday. These include returning Senator Loren Legarda and now-former Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas. It remains to be seen if a similar initiative will be put forward during the incoming 19th Congress.