Lawmakers on Thursday put forward a variety of proposals to reform Taiwan’s public holidays. Some lawmakers say the number of holidays should be increased to include dates like the Lantern Festival, or the Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Others say that Taiwan should do away with its system of “make-up work days,” which makes employees work on Saturdays in exchange for having a four-day long weekend. The discussion comes amid complaints that this year’s work calendar contained an unprecedented six instances of make-up work days.
The Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee on Thursday discussed the matter of Taiwan’s public holidays. Ruling and opposition lawmakers all put forward proposals for different kinds of holidays.
We’ve seen the 228 Peace Memorial Day has become a political money printing machine. We in Kinmen don’t think that the 228 Peace Memorial Day is something we should all be celebrating in the country. In fact, people in Kinmen think we should be memorializing the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.
Perhaps we should also consider the Lantern Festival as a public folk holiday?
New Power Party
I think we should change holidays that commemorate our authoritarian past for holidays that are more in line with the country’s modern democratic values.
There are currently 11 public holidays, which include New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year’s Eve, 228 Peace Memorial Day, and the Dragon Boat Festival. Each lawmaker had a different opinion on making changes. The New Power Party says the number of days off should be increased to 19 days per year, saying that people are already overworked in Taiwan. A lawmaker from the KMT opposed the idea.
Can’t we hold back a little? Let’s not create artificial celebrations.
Minister of the interior
Let’s take a look at the total number of non-work days in one year. If we were to stop implementing make-up work days, the total of days off would exceed the amount stipulated in our laws, which is 115 or 116 days. That is a big deal.
The matter of make-up work days and long weekends has been a hot topic for years. And with so many different opinions in the legislature, discussions will likely keep going for long.