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Malacañang on Wednesday evening finally decided that August 21 is a non-working holiday to celebrate Ninoy Aquino Day while Monday, August 23, will be a regular working day.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said President Benigno S. Aquino III is empowered under the Holiday Economics Law which was signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo "to modify holidays by law, order, or proclamation."

"The purpose for observing Ninoy Aquino Day on August 21 instead of August 23 is to avoid the imposition of unnecessary financial burden upon the employers, ensure the continuity of government, business, and commercial transactions, promote productivity, while at the same time preserve the solemnity of the observance," Lacierda said.

Lacierda earlier in the day said Aquino on Tuesday discussed the matter with some Cabinet members asking for inputs on the efficiency of whether or not to declare August 23 a holiday. August 23 is the nearest Monday to August 21 which is the day to honor of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. the President's martyred father. Then President Arroyo in 2007 signed into law Republic Act 9492, which allows moving certain public holidays to the nearest Monday, except those religious in nature.

The "holiday economics" policy is supposedly meant to boost local tourism but some businessmen had complained about too many declared holidays during the previous administration.