What’s the Difference Between a Regular and a Non-Working Holiday in the Philippines?

When I was a student, all holidays were the same. It didn’t matter if i-t was Independence Day, National Heroes’ Day, or Christmas Day: classes were simply suspended. Hooray.


Once I graduated and started working, however, it was a different story.


Okay, I’m just kidding. In the type of industry I’m in, unless it’s Christmas Day or Easter, I still come in for work. Araw ng Kagitingan? EDSA Memorial Day? Juan Ponce Enrile Immortality Day? Pshaw, my day goes on as usual, and no, I don’t get paid extra for that either.


If you are luckier than I, you might be puzzled why some of your holidays off are classified as regular while others are “non-working.” What’s the difference, you might ask?


For starters, there’s the date. Regular holidays are much like birthdays. With a few exceptions (notably religious holidays like Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Eid’l Fitr, and Eidul Adha), their dates are fixed. June 12 will always be Independence Day, December 25 is Christmas Day, January 1 is New Year’s Day, and so on.


Non-working days, on the other hand, are more flexible. Congress can choose to enact them, and the President can also do so at his discretion. President Duterte’s suspension of government work and public school classes during the last Martial Law anniversary, for example, is a special non-working holiday.

  Then, there’s also the amount of pay  

Then, there’s also the amount of pay an employee is entitled to. You already get paid more if you’re called in to work on a holiday, but exactly how much depends on what kind of holiday is involved:


For regular holidays, you should receive your daily rate plus a cost of living allowance (COLA) even if you don’t come in for work. Otherwise, you should be compensated with twice that amount. Now, if you did report for duty AND do overtime on a regular holiday (What’s the matter with you?), you still get twice your daily rate and COLA plus 2.6 times your hourly rate as applied to the number of overtime hours you put in.


Now, how about the special non-working holidays? Here’s how they differ. The “no work, no pay” policy applies to no-shows on these days, while those who do come in get a 1.3 multiplier on top of their daily rate. For overtime work on non-working holidays, the total pay is 1.69 times your hourly rate times the number of overtime hours on top of the increased daily rate.


Do note, however, that these are merely basic guidelines. The company you work for might have a different practice, so be sure to ask about their policies on such things before you sign on the dotted line.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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