MANILA. – Despite being the centennial celebration of the beleaguered Iglesia ni Cristo tomorrow and the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Pres. Aquino, tomorrow is a working holiday, Malacanang said yesterday.
Usec. Abegail Valte stressed that Republic Act 9645 which took effect in 2009 has declared that every July 27th of the year will be a special national working holiday.
Valte said that the Palace has declared tomorrow as a special working holiday for the nation to commemorate the founding anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) in the Philippines despite the fact that Pres. Aquino has signed a joint resolution declaring July 27 as the 101st founding anniversary of the influential religion..
She said the law pointed out that it is the declared policy of the State to observe the founding anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo every 27th of July in recognition of its exemplary feat of leading its members towards spiritual enlightenment and good citizenry.
Valte also clarified that classes will not be suspended all over the country except for the schools within the vicinity of the Batasan Pambansa due to a heightened security being implemented by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
However, Valte clarified that school authorities may suspend the holding of classes while the President is delivering his last SONA but emphasized that this is not mandatory.
Some local schools in the province and in the city has already announced the cancellation of classes tomorrow. There was no immediate indication behind the cancellation of classes.
It must be noted that except for last year, when INC celebrated its centennial year, July 27 is really just a working holiday. It means that those who will report for work on this day will not receive any additional pay. As the Department of Labor and Employment put it, “work performed on a (working holiday) is considered work on ordinary working days.”
As mentioned above, INC currently has two million members, and because of the group’s extraordinary ability to enforce block voting, sitting politicians and future candidates fall over themselves to gain favor from the group. And with just ten months to go before the next general elections, expect politicos to greet INC for its upcoming 101st anniversary through huge tarpaulins, streamers, and paid ads in newspapers.
PS: President Benigno Aquino III is also scheduled to give his sixth and final State of the Nation Address on July 27. Because of that, classes in several schools near the House of Representatives in Batasan, Quezon City (about 10 5 minutes away from INC’s Central) have been suspended for that day. (with reports from Jess A. Bantugan)
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