July 27 2023 declared a working holiday nationwide – 109th anniversary of Iglesia ni Cristo
The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ in English), one of the largest and most powerful religious group from the Philippines, will be celebrating its 109th foundation anniversary this July 27, Thursday. The day is a special working holiday all over the country as mandated by Republic Act 9645.
RA 9465 was enacted in 2009 during the term of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The law commends 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.
It must be noted though that INC members who report for work on this day will not receive any additional compensation. According to the 2022 Department of Labor and Employment Handbook on Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, employers are not required to give premium pay because work performed on a special work day like the foundation anniversary of Iglesia ni Cristo is considered similar to working on an ordinary workday.
Nevertheless, there had been proposed bills from several legislators to have July 27 of every year as a special non-working holiday. These include Senate Bill #1016 from Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. It remains to be seen if this bill will pass will during this 19th Congress.