This senator wants to bring back long weekends for holidays that fall on Saturday or Sunday

Don’t you just hate it when a public holiday ends up falling on the weekend, which means Monday carries on as usual, and you feel like you missed out on what could have been an epic long weekend?

Well, one senator wants to change that.

Sen. Raffy Tulfo filed a bill that seeks to amend the holiday economics law to allow more holidays to be turned into long weekends, “which could boost domestic tourism and promote work-life balance.”

Senate Bill No. 1651 proposes that if a holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday instead.

The senator reasoned that the Philippines currently observes 18 national holidays annually, with four considered “special non-working holidays” and which may fall on weekends.

The lawmaker argued that this “makes them feel less celebratory for individuals.”

Tulfo also said that adding more long weekends can be beneficial for the mental health of students and employees, as it may help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and promote work-life balance.

While this may sound exciting for those who certainly wouldn’t mind having more long weekends, this is far from the first time the Philippines has practiced it. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration enacted the Holiday Economics Law in 2007, which moved regular and special holidays to the nearest Monday in an effort to “boost domestic tourism.”

Some business groups criticized the practice, saying it affected productivity and found it difficult to dole out extra holiday pay should workers come in.

Her successor, Benigno Aquino III, amended this under Proclamation 84.

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said that he would declare more long weekends in 2023 to help the tourism industry recover.