long weekends for 2009

i don't know why many working pinoys i know are always consumed by doubt and proceed with great trepidation whenever they request for vacation leave, as though asking for something you are actually entitled to by law and contract were so grave, it depends on the munificence of the employer or the direct superior, which is not unlike pleading to borrow cash from someone who has a lot of money to spare but with whom you aren't so well acquainted. it is this concept of indebtedness in the filipino psyche, which is different from the idea of entitlement, that gets in the way of pinoys enjoying their hard-earned money, and their richly-deserved breaks from work. how often have i heard friends saying any of the following permutations:

"ang hirap kasi makakuha ng leave sa office eh." (it's so hard to get leave credits from the office.)

"baka hindi ako payagan ng boss ko." (my boss might not approve it.)

"ang dami kong trabaho. ang hirap mawala sa office." (i have too much work. it's hard to be absent from the office.)

"ipapa-monetize ko na lang yung mga leaves ko." (i'll just have my leave credits converted to cash.)

"pwede bang itapat na lang yan sa long weekend?" (can we schedule that during a long weekend?)

under the labor code, any regular employee who has rendered at least 1 year of service is actually entitled to what is called a paid service incentive leave of 5 days (art. 95). this is the legal minimum, but industry standards dictate more, and i don't know anyone who is entitled to less than 15 days of vacation leave. the grant of VL is voluntary, and thus, contractual -- an obligation of the employer -- and effectively exempts the employer from the legal requirement, provided that it is at least 5 days. the idea of paid leaves is simple: employees who are allowed to take a break from work come back refreshed, energized, and inspired, making him or her more productive. employees who refuse to take a break from work aren't necessarily swamped with work. they most likely are deprived of a right, and end up resenting their superiors, and disliking their work.

i had a conversation with an italian who said that if you don't enjoy your leave credits, it doesn't really mean you have a lot of work; it means you are not at all efficient, such that the amount of work to do never goes down. i agree with him completely.

but because i have friends who suffer employers who frown against requests for leaves, here's a list of long weekends for 2009, where you don't have to wrangle for permissions from your bosses:

april 9 - 13, thursday to monday - maundy thursday, good friday, and araw ng kagitingan (bataan and corregidor day) (5 days)
may 1 - 3, friday to sunday - labor day (3 days)
june 13 - 15, saturday to monday - independence day (3 days)
august 22 - 24, saturday to monday - ninoy aquino day (3 days)
august 29 - 31, saturday to monday - national heroes day (3 days)
november 28 - 30, saturday to monday - andres bonifacio day (3 days)
this is also thanks to gloria's holiday economics policy (EO 292, as amended by RA 9492), which automatically makes the monday nearest the holiday a non-working day. of course, this doesn't affect labor day, and also EDSA day, since the latter is legally not part of the philippines' list of regular non-working holidays, although by experience, malacañan has more or less declared it to be a non-working special holiday, and since labor groups prefer to hold their protests traditionally on may 1, and not on any other day. so potentially, we also have:

february 25 - march 1, wednesday to sunday - EDSA 1 day (5 days, with 2 days leave)
october 2 - 4, friday to sunday - eid'l fitr (3 days), this is an assumption based on the new moon falling on the 29th of september, the official end of ramadhan, and the celebration held 3 days later. still subject to change.
so we have a whole year to look forward to. it's time to make plans!

this service is brought to you by i had to do research just for this!
"this is also thanks to gloria's holiday economics policy (EO 292, as amended by RA 9492), which automatically makes the monday nearest the holiday a non-working day."

Aha! Kaya pala! Dahil sa babaeng 'to, naging sakit ko na sa ulo ang humabol sa bangko. Holiday means no work. it also means no banks. kaya before a "long weekend," withdraw to death kami para may pondo ang mga negosyo namin because our shops are open everyday. Wala pang government offices. I therefore declare her as the Holiday President of the Philippines. Economist pa kamo. Argh!
i'm not a business owner like you but only a mere employee, so i actually appreciate gloria's policy. i have spoken with many people from around the world and have learned that asians have the least number of leave credits, have the longest work hours, and have the least generous of employment benefits. in the emerging asia, it seems that the philippines also has the least number of holidays.

the reason it's called holiday economics is because there are economic benefits to be gained from having more holidays. it mostly impacts the travel, tourism and transportation sectors. and regardless of what it is any other business sells, the effects are multiplied: from food to spare parts to construction supplies (since travelers have to eat, and airlines and buses have to maintain their aircrafts and vehicles, and resorts and hotels have to improve facilities). so everyone benefits. the economy improves. and i don't know whether this will convince you any further, but there are numbers to support this.

at ang haba naman ng mga sinabi ko no, so hanggang dito na lang. :D
edit: may 1 is apparently a friday. so a total of 20 days of holidays and weekends. woohoo! thanks omar for the heads up.
ey thanks. at least now i know that someone gets a kick out of what i write, other than myself. :D

and for sure, there will be escapades. i already have something planned for the very long holiday come holy week 2009.