By Prince Golez
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque once again defended the new holiday policy, declaring three previous holidays as special working days.
Last Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1107 reclassifying November 2 (All Souls’ Day), December 24 (Christmas Eve), and December 31 (New Year’s Eve) as special working days.
“Alam niyo po, ang konteksto nito, ‘yung karagdagang araw na pinagpapatrabaho tayo, kasama na po ‘yung bisperas ng Pasko, bisperas ng Bagong Taon. Ang konteksto lang nito, talagang maraming tao ang hindi nakapaghanapbuhay dahil dito sa pandemiyang ito,” Roque said Wednesday.
The secretary made this remark after his statement that Filipinos have been on vacation for a year because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic drew public ire.
“Kaya nga ninanais ng economic team na makahabol naman tayo, at iyon po ang konteksto na aking sinabi. Hindi naman po talaga bakasyon ‘yan, kung hindi, hindi nakapagtatrabaho, kaya ngayon na pupuwede na po tayong makapagtrabaho sana dahil nagbubukas na tayo ng ekonomiya, hayaan naman nating kumita at makapagtrabaho ang ating mga kababayan,” he added.
Roque earlier said the decision to lessen the special holidays was meant to allow the country to recover for lost time when the country rolled out strict lockdown measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.