Regular workers are surely happy about the three-day holiday on November 13-15 in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga to pave the way for the 31st ASEAN Summit. Malacañang has issued Proclamation No. 332 declaring November 13 to 15 as special non-working days in selected areas. The palace justified that there are various activities to be held in these selected areas so there’s a need to declare the three days and special holidays. For the regular workers who get paid even with no work will definitely rest and spend a three-day long recreation with families, friends, etc. Same is true with students because of no classes.
The three-day holidays however is making workers who are paid on a daily basis unhappy. Obviously they will not earn for three days, and for some local government units in said identified areas have also declared November 16 and 17 as a special holiday. Thus, it would mean a long five days of no work and no pay for the contractual workers and the daily paid workers. The declaration is untimely since most if not all of the daily-paid workers are doubly working hard to save for the Christmas season. Earnings for five days are quite huge savings, but sadly lost because of the holidays, just for the ASEAN meet. The daily-paid workers are those most hurt. Sadly, government is insensitive about their predicament.
Many could not see the logic why Malacañang has to declare holidays for the ASEAN summit. Yes, the country is proud to be host of the ASEAN that would gather various leaders, being praised by neighboring countries. But the government did not consider the deprivation of income for these lowly workers. Obviously, the venue of meetings and other related activities of the ASEAN summit will be held in specific places and not the entire Metro Manila, Pampanga or Bulacan. It appears that these places stand to freeze because of the summit. If security is the problem, the government has all the resources to impose maximum security without declaring work stoppage because it is too detrimental to the labor sector. It is believed the government was given enough time to prepare for the summit particularly on security.