The Envisioned Territory of the Bangsamoro

Bangsamoro-map

In January 2014, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) had indicated that President Benigno S. Aquino III would certify the draft BBL as an urgent bill. After Congress passes the bill, a plebiscite will be held. The appointment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will follow, and then the election for the Bangsamoro government in 2016.

(more…)

The Power of Judicial Review

Supreme Court of the Philippines

With the constitutionality of the executive’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) under legal scrutiny, the Supreme Court is once again being asked to look into the acts of another branch of the government. It is, in other words, being called on to exercise the power of judicial review.

(more…)

On average, a quarter or roughly 11.6 million of the total number of registered Filipino voters, did not exercise their right to vote from 2004 to 2013.

PHL-Election-2004-2013

The 1987 Constitution guarantees the citizen’s right to vote. Its Article V states that no literacy, property, or other substantive requirements shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage by any citizen. At the very least, voters must be 18 years of age and a resident of the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he or she will vote for at least six months before election day.

(more…)

P1.92 B

The improvement of the Marikina-Infanta Road, more popularly known as Marcos Highway, is the most expensive civil-works project ever implemented since 2001. It is worth nearly P2 billion.

(more…)

Under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the celebration of many national holidays was moved to the nearest Monday or Friday to allow for extended or long weekends.

Under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the celebration of many national holidays was moved to the nearest Monday or Friday to allow for extended or long weekends. The policy, according to presidential proclamations during Arroyo’s term, was intended to reduce business disruptions and improve domestic travel and tourism. The government called this policy “holiday economics.”

This practice was launched in late 2001 with the declaration of October 31 as a special non-working holiday, creating a five-day break for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day that year.

In 2007, the practice became a law through Republic Act No. 9492, which “rationalized” the celebration of national holidays. It allowed the transfer of holiday celebrations to the nearest Monday, except those with religious significance. Under this law, the President may move the observance of the following holidays:

  • Araw ng Kagitingan (originally celebrated every April 9);
  • Labor Day (May 1);
  • Independence Day (June 12);
  • Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21);
  • National Heroes’ Day (last Monday of August);
  • Bonifacio Day (November 30); and
  • Rizal Day (December 30).

A 2007 study by Damaris Yarcia of the Asian Development Bank, however, pointed out that “holiday economics” appear to have had a “negative or at best, an insignificant impact on level of tourism and on employment.” This could be attributed to the suspension of production by firms during holidays to avoid giving overtime pays to employees.

The research said the insufficiency of disposable income and the cost of recreation and transportation prevent many employees from traveling elsewhere during the extended holidays.

Holiday economics also received criticism from then Senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel, Jr. for “trivializing” certain historical events. In 2008, the Arroyo administration moved Independence Day from June 12 to June 9.

President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, who succeeded Arroyo, did not continue the policy, however. R.A. No. 9492, nonetheless, remains in effect and may be found in the “whereas clauses” of Presidential Proclamations concerning holidays.

References:
Senate Press Release: June 12 Independence Day trivialized by GMA Order., 2008.
RA 9492. An Act Rationalizing the Celebration of National Holidays, 2007.
Report from GMA News Online, Philstar.com.
Yarcia, Damaris. Is Holiday Economics Good for the Tourism Sector? The Philippine Case. 10th National Convention on Statistics, 2007.