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How to Manage Philippine Holidays for Your Remote Team

Philippine holidays are a crucial part of the Filipino work culture. This hardworking and resilient workforce values time outside work, especially on important occasions anchored on family and religion.

Management teams and leaders advocating diversity through celebrating festivities promote inclusion. Productivity rates increase among employees (and managers like you) who take well-deserved breaks. It may be challenging to execute this, but it can be integrated into your leadership style.

To help you navigate this reality, we’ll cover all Philippine holidays and what each means to your business. You’ll get tips on aligning this with your management style and decision-making.

Different Types of Legal Holidays in the Philippines

The Philippines has three categories of legal holidays: regular holidays, special non-working holidays, and local holidays. Knowing these gives you the information to optimize your workflow like an offshoring strategy.

Regular Holidays

A regular holiday is an official holiday in the Philippines. This is mandated by the Philippines’ Republic Act No. 9492. Most of these holidays have a fixed date each year unless stated otherwise. Recently, the government included Eidul Adha, an important event for the Filipino Muslim community.

Some of these regular holidays have moveable dates. The president mandates the movement of the dates a few days before they arrive. All news organizations in the Philippines also deliver these announcements to inform the public.

Table 1: Regular Holidays in the Philippines, according to the R.A. No. 9492 and R.A. No. 9849

REGULAR HOLIDAYS IN THE PHILIPPINES
NEW YEARJanuary 1
Part of the Holy Week in the PhilippinesMAUNDY THURSDAYMovable dates, depending on the Easter Sunday
GOOD FRIDAY
DAY OF VALOR (Araw ng Kagitingan)April 9 (or the Monday nearest April 9)
EIDUL FITRMovable date, depending on the Islamic Lunar Calendar
EIDUL ADHAMovable date, depending on the Islamic Lunar Calendar
LABOR DAYMay 1 (or the Monday nearest May 1)
INDEPENDENCE DAYJune 12 (or the Monday nearest June 12)
BONIFACIO DAYNovember 30 (or the Monday nearest November 30)
CHRISTMAS DAYDecember 25
RIZAL DAYDecember 30 (or the Monday nearest December 30)

Compensation Rules on Regular Holidays in the Philippines

The pay for remote Filipino employees adjusts if they work during a holiday. The Philippine labor laws state that working on a regular holiday entitles all employees to 200% of their daily rate and cost of living allowance, if any. 

If employees aren’t working during a regular holiday, the daily rate applies as holiday pay.

Related: How Much Does It Cost to Hire Remote Workers in the Philippines?

Special Non-Working Holidays

Special non-working holidays are mostly commemorating religious celebrations of the Catholic community. For context, the Philippines’ dominant religion is Catholicism. 

Some special non-working holidays in the Philippines have flexible dates each year. The government releases an announcement determining when these holidays will occur. In some years, the government may not declare these dates as holidays.

Table 2: Special Non-Working Holidays in the Philippines from Proclamation No. 368 and 453, s. 2024 (Updated as of February 9, 2024) 

SPECIAL NON-WORKING HOLIDAYS IN THE PHILIPPINES (2024)
NINOY AQUINO DAYAugust 21
ALL SAINTS’ DAYNovember 1
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPCIONDecember 8
LAST DAY OF THE YEARDecember 31

Compensation Rules on Special Non-Working Holidays in the Philippines

If employees work during a non-working holiday, Book III of the Philippine Labor Code mandates an additional compensation of at least 30% of the regular wage. 

If they don’t report to work, there won’t be compensation.

Additional Special (Non-Working) Holidays

Some holidays may or may not be non-working days in the Philippines. These depend on the presidential declaration, like those from Proclamation No. 369 and 453, s. 2024.

Table 3: Additional Special Non-Working Holidays in the Philippines from Proclamation No. 368 and 453, s. 2024 (Updated 2024 as of February 9, 2024)

ADDITIONAL SPECIAL NON-WORKING HOLIDAYS (2024)
CHINESE NEW YEARFebruary 10 (Generally, movable data between January 21 and February 20)
Part of the Holy Week in the PhilippinesBLACK SATURDAYMarch 30 (Generally, movable date, depending on the Easter Sunday)
ALL SOULS’ DAYNovember 2
CHRISTMAS EVEDecember 24

Some local employers close their offices during some of these dates regardless of the presidential declaration due to its proximity to another official holiday. For example, if December 24 is not announced as a holiday, local and private businesses may opt to close to give their employees a longer Christmas break.

As for compensation, these Philippine holidays are categorized under the special non-working holiday salary rules. That means they’ll either get 130% of their daily rate if they work during these dates, or they won’t get paid if they don’t work that day.

Local Holidays

Local holidays are holidays mandated by a local branch of government. It doesn’t apply to entities that aren’t within the jurisdiction of these local government units.

For example, during Manila Day, government offices or companies in this area usually take the day off. However, BPOs don’t count these as holidays.

How to Manage Filipino Holidays for Your Remote Team

Now that you know what Philippine holidays are, here are some tips for managing the holidays of your Filipino employees to ensure seamless operations.

Follow Your Holidays

Some job roles involve time-sensitive tasks that don’t align with Philippine holidays. For example, customer service and finance industries have time-sensitive activities. Inform them during the hiring process and have a signed agreement.

For example, if you’re from the US, your remote Filipino workers will also be off during federal holidays like the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving. The downside to this approach is that there won’t be anyone to take on any urgent tasks or requests.

Follow Philippine Holidays

Many companies that offshore to the Philippines opt to follow Philippine holidays instead. Giving Filipino employees time to celebrate local holidays could increase motivation and engagement. As a leader, it shows cultural sensitivity, which is key to developing team cohesion and performance.

You can also set limits on Philippine holidays by forgoing the local holidays. Tip: If you have other teams who can cover for your Filipino remote workers, let them enjoy the holidays.

Create a Global Calendar

If you manage a diverse team, consider setting a global calendar to track everyone’s leaves and holidays. Some companies schedule a Slack reminder or a Google Calendar event to remind other teams which employees are on vacation. 

global calendar remote team
A global calendar makes working more efficient for all

If you hire an offshore company, they can manage and monitor this calendar for you.

See more: How Offshore Staffing Works in the Philippines

Offer Holiday Offsetting Options

There are days when there are too many unfinished tasks with tight deadlines that coincide with a holiday. In this case, you can offer your employees the option to offset their holidays and move them to a different date. That way, urgent tasks are delivered on time, and your employee still gets their well-deserved time off.

Have Unlimited or Flexible Paid Time Off (PTO)

Companies offering unlimited or flexible paid time off (PTO) can use it to attract top talent and keep their employees productive if managed right. Some employees try to limit these paid leaves especially when they’re convertible to cash. 

pto philippines holiday
Structure a PTO incentive program

Tip: Structure an incentive program centered on using PTO with accountability. This involves the freedom to have a paid leave. It also ensures proper communication and coordination of tasks to involved team members.

Final Thoughts

Respect your remote Filipino team’s culture without compromising your business operations. If you aim for seamless handling of holiday intricacies and local compensation compliance for your remote employees, collaborate with a reliable offshore team in the Philippines. They have the knowledge and ability to keep you compliant with local labor laws while managing your Filipino workers’ holidays.

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