Philippine Holidays in 2018 and How To Deal With Paid Time Off

When you outsource to the Philippines, there are certain holidays that you have to respect. Regular holidays, for example, are usually non-working holidays. And for 2018, here are the regular holidays that you can expect:

Holiday NameDateWeekday
Holiday NameDateWeekday
New Year's DayJanuary 1Monday
Maundy ThursdayMarch 29Thursday
Good FridayMarch 30Friday
The Day of Valor / Araw ng KagitinganApril 9Monday
Labor DayMay 1Tuesday
Independence DayJune 12 Tuesday
National Heroes DayAugust 27Monday
Bonifacio DayNovember 30Friday
Christmas DayDecember 25Tuesday
Rizal DayDecember 30Sunday

And here’s the calendar for special holidays:

Chinese New YearFebruary 16Friday
EDSA People Power Revolution AnniversaryFebruary 25Sunday
Black SaturdayMarch 31Saturday
Ninoy Aquino DayAugust 21Tuesday
All Saints DayNovember 1Thursday
Additional Non-Working HolidaysNovember 2 December 24Friday Monday
Last Day of the YearDecember 31Monday

You can also integrate these holidays to your Google Calendar:

Now that you have the calendar, you’re probably wondering how to deal with these holidays. What about paid time off? What would be the best way to approach this?

Well, that mostly depends on your outsourcing arrangement. But most Filipino workers and business in the Philippines recognize the following paid leaves:

1. Sick Leaves. Most businesses offer up to 15 leaves per year and can be filed on the day itself.

2. Vacation Leaves. The number varies but on  average ranges between 5 to 15 days per calendar year. This is an optional leave.

3. Service Incentive Leaves. This is an option offered when an employee doesn’t use up all his leaves. He can get the cash equivalent of the leaves that weren’t taken for that year. Or the employee would have the option to take an extended leave to use up all the paid leaves.

4. Maternity Leave. Women are eligible to 60 days maternity leave if they had a natural birth and 75 days if they gave birth through C-section. Their salaries should be covered if you and your employee make regular contributions to the Social Security System (SSS).

5. Paternity Leave. Philippine Law now allows fathers to take a paid leave up to seven days within a month of having a baby.

6. Parental Leave. The law allows for single parents with sole custody of their children an additional 7 days of paid leave.

7. Rehabilitation Leave. This is provided for employees who have suffered some injury or illness. The extent of the leave would depend on the doctor’s recommendation and company policy.

Do All These Leaves Apply To Your Outsource Employees?

Not really. The paid leaves  you offer would depend on your work arrangement with your Filipino VA. There are cases that paid leaves would not be applicable for all. Let’s look at  the common outsourcing scenarios and whether the paid leaves would apply.

VAs Paid By The Hour

Holidays: If you hire your workers on a per hour basis and you don’t need them to work over the holidays, you don’t need to offer them paid time off.

But if you do need them to work over the holidays, you might need to offer them additional incentives to do so. An option would be to increase their hourly rates if you need them to work over the holidays.

Paid Leaves:  If you want to be generous with your VA and offer any of the leaves presented above, you definitely can do that. But paid leaves don’t really apply to workers who are paid by the hour.

VAs Paid Per Project

Holidays: If the holiday falls within the agreed upon timeline for the project, there’s no need to offer paid time off. When you pay per project, the contract is with the output, not with the dates.

But if you want your VAs to rush on a project and if it would require working over the holidays, giving a bonus for early project completion would be fair compensation.

Paid Leaves: Same thing with virtual assistants paid by the hour. You can offer leaves or incentives

Part-time and Full-time VAs Paid Per Month/Week (The Way)

Holidays: When you hire Filipino virtual assistants to work part-time or full-time, there are several ways you can approach this.

The Department of Labor recommends offering paid time off during regular holidays. But if you need your VAs to work over the holidays, you need to pay a little extra on top of the regular rate.

If it’s a regular holiday, you need to double their rate or 200%  for that day. If it’s a special holiday, you pay their regular rate plus 30% for that day.

Paid Leaves: We strongly recommend that you offer whatever paid leaves would be reasonable for you and your business. With regards to when you start offering paid leaves, most business start to offer the leaves when employees have worked for at least 6 months. In the case of Philippine business, they would offer 1 sick leave and 1 vacation leave per month once the employee is done with their probationary status.

Talking About PTO with your Filipino VAs.

Most Filipino workers are reluctant to ask about leaves and paid time off. So it’s best to talk about this with your VA as soon as you hire. Filipinos are vary family oriented and will often plan trips or celebrations around long holidays. So to avoid any misunderstanding, you have to agree on what they need to when taking leaves. Like for vacation leaves, how many days in advance do they need to inform you? What’s the longest amount of time they can take a leave? A week? Two weeks? Can they take the day off on special holidays?

Settling this issues early on will avoid a host of problems in the future.





  1. Paquito T. Malinao says

    With the number of my experiences being employed such different companies, everything has no problem at all.



  2. Jens says

    What about the public holiday “Lailatul Isra Wal Mi Raj” on 13 Apr 2018 and 3 Apr 2019 – is it a regular or special holiday?
    Thanks in advance!

    • says

      As of the moment it is not recognized as a regular or special holiday. But we will update this post as soon as there’s news about it. Sometimes the Philippine government adds special holidays within the year.

      • Mae says

        what if this way mam..I use my vacation leave a day before the holiday..and they said they will not pay my two days holiday because I am absent a day before…but my absent is paid..because I have VL

  3. syl says

    Is a combined paid time off a common practice in PH (i.e. 30 days of leave to cover for sick and vacation)


  4. Mariel says

    Hi… May I ask if I leave without pay on April 6, 2018(Friday) do I have my Holiday pay on April 9, 2018(monday, ligal holiday)? Btw, I work on weekdays only…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *