APRIL 7 A PUBLIC HOLIDAYManila, April 1, 2003 -- In line with the Arroyo administration's "holiday economics" to spur domestic tourism, the country's next official holiday, "Araw ng Kagitingan," will be moved from April 9 to April 7, to give Filipinos the luxury of a long weekend, Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye announced yesterday. The non-working holiday commemorates the 1942 surrender of Philippine and US forces to invading Japanese forces during World War II. However, President Arroyo will still observe "official functions" on April 9 to mark the fall of Bataan and Corregidor, Bunye said. Mrs. Arroyo and her Cabinet decided to restore the "holiday economics" upon the recommendation of Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon, he added. The decision was made during a meeting held aboard a ferry en route to Caticlan Jetty Port Terminal, on the second leg of a promotional launch of a nationwide ferry service that will enable people to travel across the country by land. Mrs. Arroyo hopes that the ferry service, billed as the "Strong Republic Nautical Highway," will spur development. The long weekend will also be observed during the Holy Week. Holy Thursday (April 17) and Good Friday (April 18) are official non-working holidays for both government and the private sector. Although not an official holiday, Black Saturday (April 19) is usually declared by the President as a special non-working holiday, Bunye said. But this year, government employees may be given long holidays this Holy Week. "For workers in government agencies with non-essential services, they don't have to report for work on Holy Wednesday," he said.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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