Learn all about the significance of National Heroes’ Day in the Philippines.
How did the National Heroes Day celebration start?
National Heroes’ Day primarily commemorates the sacrifices of our ancestors. It is a day to honor their bravery in freeing our country from the clutches of Spanish colonization. Lastly, it gives homage to the fallen heroes, known and unknown, who continues to fight for the country’s freedom.
People celebrate National Heroes’ Day supposedly on the day of the “Cry of Pugad Lawin.” Since the time of the American occupation, they have been observing this day. During the celebration, they perform solemn rites and ceremonies, such as laying wreaths and raising flags.
Related: List of Philippine Holidays in 2023
Act No. 3827 from October 28, 1931 declared National Heroes Day, or Araw ng mga Bayani, as an official holiday. Furthermore, it mandated that people celebrate it on the last Sunday of August every year.
In addition, the Executive Order No. 292, also known as the Administrative Code of 1987, later legislated National Heroes Day as a regular holiday. Furthermore, it reaffirmed the celebration of the holiday every last Sunday of August.
After this, the Republic Act No. 9492 rationalized the celebration of nationwide holidays and declared National Heroes Day a regular holiday. However, it changed the day of its celebration to the last Monday of August every year.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo introduced the change in the date of celebration as part of the holiday economics policy. Such allows the celebration of holidays that fall on weekends to be moved to the nearest Monday or Friday to create long weekend breaks.
When do we celebrate National Heroes’ Day?
According to the laws currently in effect, the National Heroes’ Day is on every last Monday of August. Due to this, the exact date of the celebration naturally differs. Last year, it was on August 29, 2022. This year, the day falls on August 28.
Who are our National Heroes?
This holiday would lose its meaning if we did not have our heroes who offered up even their lives in the struggle for the country’s and its citizens’ freedom. Their selfless sacrifice led to where we are today. So it is a small ask for the citizens of the Philippines to learn more about our brave heroes who were the key figures in the Philippine revolution. Given that, here is the list of the most prominent figures in our history:
- Dr. Jose Rizal
- Andres Bonifacio
- Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
- Apolinario Mabini
- Marcelo H. del Pilar
- Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat
- Juan Luna
- Melchora Aquino
- Gabriela Silang
But aside from this roster of individuals, we also pay tribute to those who fought for our freedom whose names remain unknown to this day.
DOLE rules on National Heroes’ Day pay
The existing laws mandate that the current president must make a proclamation on the exact date of the celebration of holidays. Based on the proclamation, the Department of Labor and Employment releases a Labor Advisory concerning the rules on payment and observance of each holiday.
As a regular holiday, the following rules regarding pay:
- If the employee does not report to work, they will still get a full day’s worth of basic salary plus the corresponding Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
- If the employee works but it is their rest day, the employee receives an amount twice that of their basic daily wage (plus COLA). In short, they get double pay for their first eight (8) hours of service.
- Suppose the employee works for more than eight (8) hours on National Heroes day and it is not their rest day. In that case, they get 30% more on top of the double pay for every hour in excess of eight hours.
- Suppose an employee works on National Heroes day and it is their rest day. In that case, they are to receive an additional 30% of double the amount of the daily wage on top of their double pay.
- Suppose the employee works over eight hours on National Heroes day, which falls on their rest day. In this situation, they receive an additional 30% more on top of the double pay and the additional 30%.
Computing pay on National Heroes Day
Following the rules on payment on National Heroes day, the following formulas can be used to compute the employees’ pay:
Pay = [(daily rate + COLA) x 100%]
Worked on a regular day
Pay = [(daily rate + COLA) x 200%]
Worked overtime on a regular day
Pay = hourly rate x number of hours x 200% x 130%
Worked on a rest day
Pay = [((daily rate + COLA) x 200%) + (30% x (daily rate x 200%))]
Worked overtime on a rest day
National Heroes Day pay = hourly rate x number of hours x 200% x 130% x 130%
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