Should the State Have the Power to Legislate Holidays?

So I woke up today and realized that it's the 30th. I'm not really familiar with banking but supposedly there's none during weekends, from what I hear. So I'm assuming that tomorrow is a holiday? or maybe until the 2nd? And so I go for the modern-day proverb of stop asking stupid questions and Google it.

is it holiday today in the Philippines
Is it Holiday Today in the Philippines?

And then I noticed that they're keywords (this means that a lot of people search for it, see Beating the Search Engine for more on keywords and search engine optimization). So it's not just me who have asked this question and apparently more people from India, Singapore, and USA ask it. My Google AdSense Payment is actually released today as I've talked about in a previous blog post. This the reason why I need to know when the holidays are and whether Western Union will be open or giving out USD payouts.

What if I'm not a Catholic? What if I didn't believe in this whole dressing up for costume parties or going to the cemetery hullaballoo? Why is it being imposed on me and forces businesses (big businesses can probably afford the double pay but how about small ones? plus, it increases costs for entrepreneurs therefore also increases prices) to support it by closing down?

I'm not saying that Catholics shouldn't practice this. I'm giving them all the right to do so privately, any time of the year they want. It is their freedom of assembly, freedom to choose religion, rituals, and practices. I just don't want it to be legislated and imposed on those who don't want to practice it. In a free society, private businesses can choose whether to support or not support the holiday. For example, if most of their employees and themselves are Christians, they would actually have the voluntary choice to close down or provide double pay or some other incentive.

I guess it makes sense, from our keyword analysis, that a lot of people from India and Singapore ask it because of their multicultural population. That's the concept of giving this power to the state: so they can please certain groups and yet it is imposed on everyone across the board even to those who do not want to practice it.

Me and some friends actually try to practice St. Patrick's Day, for instance, which is a holiday in some countries of the world. Being that many of my friends love to drink, we always enjoy trying to look for a an excuse to justify or somehow make this voluntary personal habit more special. But then how come it's not legislated? Doesn't that make us minorities? Some people think it's a holiday to go to cemeteries and light up candles, maybe for some it's fasting during daytime for 30 days, but what if for some it is to drink during St. Patrick's Day?

Okay, most social conservatives would argue that my argument is stupid and would incentivize "dangerous" habits and increase crime or that it would be "immoral" (although practiced and legislated as public holidays in many parts of the world). But then for as long as I am not hurting anyone, stealing or destroying property, then why should the values and morality of others be imposed on me? Plus, statistically, crime rate really does go up during these legislated public holidays regardless of how "moral" the holiday is.

And then it gives bureaucracies another chance to spend taxpayer's money without transparency. DOTC, along with many bureaucracies, for instance, have started "Oplan Ligtas Undas", disguised in the noble intention of protecting the safety and security of peoples and their belongings, we allow bureaucrats to spend endlessly and enrich themselves and their cronies. If there was any sort of real transparency, we would know how much they are spending and for what and who the suppliers or service providers are. So aside from imposing values and morality on individuals, it also creates a breeding ground for corruption.

If you liked this post then you might also like:
1. The Singapore Argument—is it really good governance that made them prosperous?
2. Gurgaon City, India—growth and progress when there is absence of government
3. Freedom of Information Bill in the Philippines

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