Friday, August 13, 2010

I take this seriously

You may have heard (and lamented) about this already. On Wednesday, the President issued Proclamation No. 13, which moved the observation of Ninoy Aquino Day to August 21, 2010 Saturday.

As far as I know, the policy of holiday economics finds basis in a Republic Act - R.A. 9492 to be exact, which rationalizes the celebration of national holidays in the country. This law very clearly states that Ninoy Aquino Day shall be observed on the Monday nearest August 21. As early as July of 2009, Mrs. Arroyo thus issued Proclamation No. 1841, declaring August 23, 2010 Monday as Ninoy Aquino Day.

Relying on the faith of the law and the proclamation, law-abiding Filipinos booked flights for out-of-town vacations next Monday. Citizens with no money to spare like myself, prepared themselves emotionally for a long weekend with the kids! These vacations and family bonding moments will no longer happen, obviously. All because of that stupid Proclamation numbered 13.

This is basic. The power to make, amend, or repeal laws is lodged exclusively with Congress, except to the extent reserved to the people through initiative and referendum under the Constitution. A law such as R.A. 9492 can therefore only be repealed by Congress. The President cannot, by mere proclamation, move a holiday to a date other than that specified under the law.

This blog says that the Palace cites the very provisions of R.A. 9492 when it decided to move Ninoy Aquino Day to August 23. Let's see. The RA reads in part: "Provided, That for movable holidays, the President shall issue a proclamation, at least six months prior to the holiday concerned, the specific date that shall be declared as a nonworking day ..." The only movable holidays under the law are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the end of Ramadan. However, the law also admittedly reads: "Unless otherwise modified by law, and or proclamation, the following regular holidays and special days shall be observed in the country..." Hay.

How do you feel about all this?

2 comments:

  1. E.O. No 1 (Truth Commission) - no basis in law
    E.O. No 2 (Midnight Appointments) - all signs point to this being unconsitutional
    Proclamation No. 1841 - as you said, beyond the scope of the president's powers to promulgate

    In his first month in office, Noynoy has done nothing of note except to undo the actions of the previous administration, kahit na walang sense or basis in law ang pag-undo niya. How can we move forward if this administration is more concerned about looking back and being vindictive? I'm all for accountability, pero please naman, you have six years in office to persecute Arroyo if you want to. There are morre pressing concerns right now than revoking everything Arroyo did.

    I still do not regret not voting for this person. And I still am not embarrased to say "hindi ko binoto yan"

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  2. I agree this time, Mel. But only as far as hoping that Noynoy Aquino's presidency doesn't turn out merely "reactionary" like his mom's, who focused so much on undoing what Marcos did. These are exciting times. Most Filipinos are hopeful and cooperative. I hope the President doesn't waste the opportunity.

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