Holiday Proclamations and Laws in the Philippines

PUBLISHED ON: January 21, 2021
LAST UPDATED ON: May 6, 2021

Holiday declarations in the Philippines is based on the laws passed by Congress and Ordinance powers of the President of the Philippines.

The following details the Holidays officially celebrated in the Philippines.

Latest Holidays in the Philippines

What are the Holidays for 2021 in the Philippines?

The following is the list of nationwide Holidays in the Philippines as declared by the latest Proclamation of the President,

YearProclamationRemarks
2021Proclamation No. 986, series of 2020
-Proclamation No. 1107, series of 2021Amends the Proclamation for the year 2021
to declare working days

What is the difference between Regular Holiday and Special Non Working day?

The difference between a Regular Holiday and a Special Non-Working Holiday is the amount of additional pay, attendance prior the holiday, and the law or decree where it emanated.

Generally, a Holiday is a day when work is suspended in order to commemorate and celebrate the custom or tradition. However, The Philippines categorizes Holidays into either Regular Holiday and Special Holiday; while the latter is categorized further into working and non-working Holiday.

A Regular holiday is customarily celebrated on a certain date and has been declared as such by law. While, a Special Non-Working Holiday is generally proclaimed as such by the President through its Ordinance Power as stated in Section 4, Chapter 2 of the 1987 Administrative Code.

Special Non-Working Days are supposed to be situational or individual declarations for a certain day by the President. However, the Philippines currently has regularly or annual celebrated Special Non-working Days which has diluted the term with Regular Holiday.

Examples of Special Non-Working Days that are passed into law are Ninoy Aquino Day and Feast of Immaculate Conception

How many Regular Holidays does the Philippines have?

The Philippines has twelve (12) Regular Holidays as of 2021.

Holiday Pay Calculation

How do I calculate the payment of wages during the Holiday?

The calculation of Holiday Pay is divided into 2 categories: Regular Holiday Pay and Special Non-Working Day Pay. Learn more about how to calculate Holiday Pay by following this link.

Holidays declarations in the Philippines

How are Holidays declared in the Philippines?

Holidays are declared in the Philippines by Proclamations issued by the President of the Philippines. In addition, there may be localized suspension of work in a city or municipality that requires Proclamations by either the President or the local chief executive such as the Mayor.

Local Holidays

Local Holidays in the city are declared by the Local Chief Executive. An example of city-wide suspension of work is Executive Order No. 1, series of 2021 in Manila which was declared to commemorate the Feat of the Black Nazarene by issued by the Manila Mayor.

Foundation days of cities are also declared as Holidays that are only localized within the city itself.

There are also Localized Holidays passed into law such as RA 11144 declaring June 19 as a Special Non-Working Holiday in the province of Laguna.

History of legislature on declaration of Holidays in the Philippines

The Philippines is a republic and therefore laws are passed by the Legislative body. However, there are pre-current Republic and colonial-era passed laws that are still recognized today.

A list that I could find prior to 1987 Administration Code was from the 1917 colonial Administrative Code under the United States of America, which reads the following:

SECTION 29. Legal holidays. – Thursday and Friday of Holy Week, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Sundays are legal religious holidays.

The other legal holidays are: The first of January, the twenty-second of February, the first of May, the thirtieth of May, the fourth of July, the thirteenth of August, the thirtieth of November, the thirtieth of December, and the day appointed by law for holding the general election. [xxx]

SECTION 30. Special holiday declared by (Governor-General) President of the Philippines. – The (Governor-General) President of the Philippines may, in his discretion, proclaim any other day a special public holiday for a particular date, and in calling a special election for a member of the (Philippine Legislature) National Assembly, or for a provincial office he shall limit such holiday, if one is declared, to the particular district or province where the election is held.

The Philippines being an American colony at the time celebrated American Holidays such as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. Such Holidays, however, no longer separated in the the country.

Post-Martial Law, Executive Order No. 203 issued on June 30, 1987 organized the list of Regular Holidays and Nationwide Special Holidays as there were "too many holidays being observed which has caused confusion among the public" according to the aforementioned executive order.

The list of Regular Holidays and Special (Non-Working) Holidays was further codified into E.O. No. 292, series of 1987 also known as the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines.

RA 9492 was signed on 2007 by President Gloria Arroyo which included Eidul Adha as a regional holiday. At this time, President Arroyo introduced the concept of "Holiday Economics" that allowed the movement of the day of Holiday into the nearest Monday for long-weekend to occur.

RA 9849 was signed and included Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha as nation-wide Holidays. The aforementioned Republic Act was the latest statute that compiled all Regular Holidays and Special Non-working Holidays.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, President Duterte amended that proclamation for 2021 to declare All Souls' Day (2 November), Christmas Eve (24 December), and Last Day of the Year (31 December) as Special Working Days.

This is explicitly allowed as stated in Section 2 of RA 9849 which reiterates the provisions in the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines:

Unless otherwise modified by law, order, or proclamation, the following regular holidays and special days shall be observed in the country: [xxx]

Terminology of Regular Holiday

The present terms are currently Regular Holiday and Special Non-Working Day. The outdated term for Regular Holiday is "Legal Holiday".

Legal Religious Holidays are also separated in earlier issuances.

Laws regarding declarations of Nationwide Holidays

List of Laws declaring National Holidays in the Philippines

LawSignatoryYearRemarksAdministrative Code
Act No. 345United States Philippine Commission1902Colonial Philippines
Act No. 2711Governor-General of the Philippines10 March 1917Colonial Philippines; Revised Administrative Code
RA 5717 October 1946An Act to Amend Section Twenty-Nine of Act Numbered Twenty-Seven Hundred and Eleven, Known as the Revised Administrative Code
RA 229Pres. Elpidio Quirino1948Rizal Day
RA 24312 June 1948An Act To Amend Section Twenty-Nine Of Act Numbered Twenty-Seven Hundred And Eleven, Otherwise Known As The Revised Administrative Code, As Amended By Republic Act Numbered Fifty-Seven
RA 3022Pres.
Carlos
Garcia
April 6, 1961Declared Bataan Day, which as referred to as a Legal Holiday
RA 4166--Amends the date for Philippine Independence Da from July 4 to June 12 and declares July 4 as Philippine Republic DayRevised Administrative Code
Executive Order 202,
series of 1987
Pres. Corazon Aquino1987Compiled all holidays celebrated in the Philippines
Executive Order 292,
series of 1987
Pres. Corazon Aquino1987Also known as the 1987 Administrative Code; Codified all holidays; It contains all holidays originally indicated in ED 202, series of 1987
Republic Act No. 9177Pres.
Gloria
Macapagal-
Arroyo
13
November
2002
Republic Act No. 9256Pres.
Gloria
Macapagal-
Arroyo
2004Declaring the Monday nearest August 21 "Ninoy Aquino Day" as a Special Non-working Holiday.
RA 9492Pres.
Gloria
Macapagal-
Arroyo
2007Declaring certain days, which are specific or movable,
RA 9849Pres.
Gloria
Macapagal-
Arroyo
2009Compiled the list of holidays and added Eidul Adha as a Regular Holiday
RA 10966Pres.
Rodrigo Duterte
2017Declaring 8 December as a Special non-working holiday in view of Feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary

Official list of Holidays passed into laws or Republic Acts

The current Holidays based on the latest statute is approved through Republic Act (RA) 9849, as amended by RA 10966, which are the following:

Regular Holidays

Regular HolidayDateFirst Legislation or Law
as Nationwide Holiday
Codified into
EO 292
New year's DayJanuary 1Act No. 2711
(Or even before)
Codified
Maundy ThursdayMovable DateAct No. 2711
(Or even before)
Codified
Good FridayMovable DateAct No. 2711
(Or even before)
Codified
Eid'l FitrMovable DateRepublic Act (RA) No. 9177-
Eidul AdhaMovable DateRepublic Act (RA) No. 9849-
Araw ng Kagitingan
(Bataan and Corregidor Day)
Monday nearest April 9Republic Act (RA) No. 3022Codified
Labor DayMonday nearest May 1Act No. 2711
(Or even before)
Codified
Independence DayMonday nearest June 12Republic Act (RA) No. 4166Codified
National Heroes DayLast Monday of AugustAct No. 3827
signed on 1931
Codified
Bonifacio DayMonday nearest November 30Act No. 2946
signed on 1921
Codified
Christmas DayDecember 25Act No. 2711
(Or even before)
Codified
Rizal DayDecember 30Republic Act (RA) No. 229Codified

Nationwide Special Holidays

Special HolidayDateFirst Legislation or LawCodified into
EO 292
Ninoy Aquino DayMonday nearest
August 21
Republic Act (RA) No. 9256-
All Saints DayNovember 1Codified into EO 292Codified
Feast of Immaculate Conception of MaryDecember 8Republic Act (RA) No. 10966-
Last Day of the YearDecember 31Codified into EO 292Codified

The President of the Philippines is allowed to include additional Holidays in the list and those who wish to view the last list of Holidays should read the latest proclamation.

List of Holidays that are celebrated due to proclamations

HolidayDateFirst declared on
Chinese New YearMovable
(Expected date mid-January to mid-February)
2012
EDSA People Power Anniversary25 February2010
Black SaturdayMovable
(Dependent on Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar)
-
All Souls' Day2 November-
Christmas Eve24 December-
Last Day of the Year31 December

Proclamation declaring Holidays in the Philippines

What is the latest proclamation declaring nationwide Holidays in the Philippines?

The latest Proclamation declaring Holidays in the Philippines is Proclamation No. 986, series of 2020 signed by President Duterte. The proclamation is issued for the Holidays in 2021.

List of Proclamation declaring Nationwide Holidays in the Philippines

YearProclamation No.DateHolidays / RemarksProclaimed by
2005Proclamation No. 896,
s. 2005
2005Proclamation No. 901,
s. 2005
2005Proclamation No. 933,
s. 2005
4 November
(Friday)
Eid'l Fitr as Regular Holiday
issued on 14th October
Pres. Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo
2006Proclamation No. 1048,
s. 2006
15 April
(Saturday)
Glorious Saturday
as Special Non-Working Day
-
2006Proclamation No. 1169,
s. 2006
1 December
(Friday)
30 November (Bonifacio Day), which is a Tuesday,
is declared as a working day in exchange
of 1 December as a Regular Holiday
-
2006-26 December
(Tuesday)
Day after Christmas-
2007Proclamation No. 1211,
s. 2007
7 April
(Saturday)
Glorious Saturday
as Special Non-Working Day
-
200711 June
(Monday)
Regular Holiday of Independence Day
(12 June, Tuesday) is moved to 11 June
-
2007-2 November
(Friday)
All Saints' Day
as Special Non-Working Day
-
2007-24 December
(Monday)
Christmas Eve as SNWD-
2007Proclamation No. 1353,
s. 2007
August 20
(Monday)
August 21 (Ninoy Aquino Day), which is a Tuesday,
is declared as a working day in exchange
of August 20 as a Special Non-Working Day
-
2007-November 30
(Friday)
Bonifacio Day
(RH)
-
2007-December 30
(Friday)
Rizal Day
(RH)
-
2008Proclamation No. 1463
s. 2008
Nationwide Holidays for 2008-
2009Proclamation No. 1699,
s. 2008
Nationwide Holidays for 2009-
2009Proclamation No. 1808,
s. 2009
27 - 28 November
(Friday and Saturday)
Eid'l Adha as a national holiday
2010Proclamation No. 1841,
s. 2009
Nationwide Holidays for 2010-
2011Proclamation No. 84,
s. 2010
Nationwide Holidays for 2011Pres. Benigno
Aquino III
2012Proclamation No. 295,
s. 2011
Nationwide Holidays for 2012-
2013Proclamation No. 459,
s. 2012
Nationwide Holidays for 2013-
2014Proclamation No. 655,
s. 2013
Nationwide Holidays for 2014-
2015Proclamation No. 831,
s. 2014
Nationwide Holidays for 2015-
2016Proclamation No. 1105,
s. 2015
Nationwide Holidays for 2016-
2017Proclamation No. 50,
s. 2016
Nationwide Holidays for 2017Pres. Rodrigo
Duterte
2018Proclamation no. 269,
s. 2017
Nationwide Holidays for 2018-
2019Proclamation no. 555,
s. 2018
Nationwide Holidays for 2019-
2020Proclamation No. 845,
s. 2019
Nationwide Holidays for 2020
RH - 12, SH - 9
-
2021Proclamation No. 986,
series of 2020
Nationwide Holidays for 2021
RH - 12, SH - 6
-
-Proclamation No. 1107,
series of 2021
Amends Nationwide Holidays for 2021-

It is important to note that President Macapagal-Arroyo proclaimed that the date nearest monday (or friday) of a certain Holiday would be declared as the respective Regular Holiday or Special Non-working day. This is a part of the "Holiday Economics" plan of the president.

The "Holiday Economics" has not been observed since the start of President Benigno Aquino Administration.

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