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Puerto Rico Public Sector Holidays Reduction Update

Source: Oficina de Recursos Humanos del Estado Libre Asociado (ORHELO)
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014
Most recent follow-up news item: June 16, 2021

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, has submitted another proposal to reduce the number of annual public sector holidays in Puerto Rico, by combining 4 of the current annual non-working public sector holidays of Puerto Rico into one, the "Día de los Próceres Puertorriqueños".

The aforementioned proposal would celebrate Eugenio María de Hostos, José de Diego, Luis Muñoz Rivera, José Celso Barbosa and Ramón Emeterio Betances in one public sector holiday, in a manner analogous to what had been proposed a few years ago.

Five years ago (2009-06-23), Puerto Rico's Chamber of Representatives had approved, and sent to the Senate, the Proyecto de la Cámara 1387 which would similarly have sharply reduced the number of public sector holidays in Puerto Rico. That bill, introduced the previous spring (2009-04-06), would have combine into the 3rd Monday of February Presidents' Day, the 4 current public sector holidays commemorating the birth anniversaries of Eugenio María de Hostos (variable date in January), José de Diego (variable date in April), Luis Muñoz Rivera (variable date in July) and José Celso Barbosa (annually on July 27). But the lumping of these 4 commemorative dates into Presidents' Day, immediately drew ire and ridicule from some of the media, one of them remarking that of the 4 people that would be commemorated on Presidents' Day, only 1 was actually a president; José De Diego (President of the Chamber of Representatives). In any event, the Proyecto de la Cámara 1387 was never moved to final passage, and its death knell was confirmed later that same year (2009-08-10) when the public sector's human resources department of the government of Puerto Rico (ORHELA) released the "Memorando Especial Núm. 11-2009", which listed all the same public sector holidays for the year 2010.

Earlier this year (2014-03-19), Puerto Rican senator, María Teresa González, had submitted a proposal to sharply reduce the number of annual public sector holidays in Puerto Rico for the upcoming fiscal year 2014/2015. In her "Ley de Suspensión de los Días Feriados", out of the public sector holidays set-out in the Artículo 387 del Código Político de 1902, only January 1st, January 6, July 25, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25, would have been observed as public sector holidays in the upcoming fiscal year 2014/2015.

As always (2014-03-29, 2013-09-14, 2012-06-19, 2011-07-26, 2010-04-05, and 2009-08-10), the Puerto Rican private sector benefits from far fewer public holidays than the public sector. Banks usually follow the public sector holidays, except in cases when these fall on a Sunday.

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Puerto Rico Public Sector Holidays Reduction Update" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.