By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

Malacañang on Tuesday said the year 2021 “special working holidays” are meant to “recover for lost time” after the Philippines went on almost a year “vacation” due to the threat of coronavirus pandemic.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this in response to the calls to recall the proclamation declaring November 2, December 24, and December 31 as “special working holidays” for economic recovery.

“Yan po ay dahil sa advice ng economic team, napakatagal na po nating nakabakasyon. Halos isang taon na tayo nagbakasyon dahil sa COVID-19,” Roque said in an online briefing.

“Siguro po, ngayong nandito na ang bakuna, hayaan na nating makarecover tayo for lost time,” Roque added.

Despite this, he said there is “nothing etched in stone” yet.

“Tignan po natin baka naman dahil may bakuna na eh makabalik na tayo sa dati at hindi na natin kinakailangan maghabol pa,” he said.

Earlier, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged Malacañang to recall the decision. Due to the proclamation, Hontiveros said employees who would report to work during these dates will no longer be entitled to additional holiday pay of 30 percent of their daily basic wage, which is granted to workers during special non-working holidays.

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