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Dominican Republic Senate Votes Public Holidays Amendments

Source: Portal del Senado de la República Dominicana (Santo Domingo)
Posted on Friday, April 1, 2011

The Senate of the Dominican Republic has passed by a unanimous vote the latest version of the amendments to the Ley número 139-97 which governs the observance of mid-week public holidays.

The "Ley No. 139-97 mediante la cual los días feriados del calendario que coincidan con los días martes y miércoles, jueves o viernes serán trasladados de fecha" currently mandates the observance of the following public holidays on their fixed date, regardless of the day of the week when they occur: January 1st, January 21, February 27, August 16 (on any inauguration year), September 24, and December 25.

The amendments, introduced earlier this year (2011-01-28), voted by the Dominican Republic Senate would add 2 public holidays to the above list of fixed-date public holidays: the Día de los Santos Reyes (January 6) and the Natalicio de Juan Pablo Duarte (January 26).

This would leave only the May 1, August 16 and November 6 public holidays to move when they fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Ever since its passage (1997-06-19), the Ley No. 139-97 is regularly attacked (2010-06-18, 2010-02-09, 2009-11-22, 2009-11-08, and 2008-05-24) by many who think that moving religious holidays is blaspheme, while the move of historical national holidays is unpatriotic.

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