PPP proposes alternative holiday when Christmas, Buddha’s Birthday fall on weekends

SEOUL– The ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Tuesday proposed applying the alternative holiday bill to Christmas and Buddha’s Birthday, allowing the designation of a substitute holiday for the two public holidays when they fall on weekends.

PPP floor leader Joo Ho-young made the formal proposal to the government during a party meeting, saying it is time to consider expanding the designation of alternative holidays in consideration of the need to boost domestic demand and people’s right to rest and requests from religious circles.

“This week, Christmas falls on Sunday. Otherwise, it’s a public holiday when (people) can take an extra day off. Unfortunately, they can’t do that this year,” Joo said.
The alternative holiday bill took effect in July 2021, enabling the designation of official substitute holidays for all national holidays that happen to coincide with weekends.

But public holidays, like Buddha’s Birthday and Christmas, were excluded from the bill.

“We have 15 (national and public) holidays a year but there are slight variations depending on whether the holidays coincide with Saturdays or Sundays,” Joo said.

“There will be only 13 holidays next year because of the weekend overlapping.”

He then noted that the introduction of the alternative holiday system has produced evident effects in stimulating domestic demand in the distribution, travel and restaurant industries.

Joo appears to have made the remarks after reaching some prior agreement with the government, as the expansion of substitute holidays can be implemented through the revision of the bill’s enforcement ordinance.

He told reporters after the meeting, “I’ve heard that the government is positively considering the matter. I know it’s a matter of amending the enforcement ordinance. So it’s possible if the government decides.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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