The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour has issued a correction to the public holidays notice for the 54th Independence Day Celebrations for Samoa.
The public notice states that the public, business communities, shop owners, employers and workers are again advised that in accordance with section 2 of the Public Holidays Act 2008, the Public Holidays declared to commemorate the 54 years of Samoa’s Independence are as follow.
• Public Holiday – Wednesday, 1st June 2016
• Public Holiday – Thursday, 2nd June 2016-05-28
• Commissioned Holiday for Public Servants only – Friday, 3rd June 2016.
Friday 3rd of June is a normal business day and not a Public Holiday. This day is also regarded as a Shopping Day for Independence.
This public notice has left some business owners upset while others have resigned themselves to looking for a positive from the government’s decision .
Moe Lei Sam owner of the Moe Lei Samoa Variety Store said that the two public holidays will affect her business.
“How does the government expect us to survive by having so many public holidays?” she asked.
“This is very unfair for us, I mean there are so many public holidays, we had the Election Day Public Holidays, then we have the Mother’s Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day and White Sunday.
“I reckon Samoa is the only country with so many public holidays. How do they (government) expect the businesses to survive if they have public holidays almost every month?”
Another well known businessman, the owner of the Island Rock Company is also less than thrilled.
Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said every business needs five working days to meet their sales targets but to have three working days, puts the pressure on everyone.
“For three days ,we won’t be able to meet the target s and that will count as a loss for our business,” he said.
Ms. Lei Samoa said Samoa’s economic situation nowadays is very poor and people are suffering .
“I want to remind the Prime Minister that our employees depend on us and if we continue having holidays then we will not be able to afford to pay our employees.
“This is something that he needs to look at.
“If they decide to have these holidays then I think the employee’s salaries should be half as well because we shouldn’t be paying them full pay for doing nothing.
“I even called M.C.I.L. myself and they apologised and said that this is the way it is.”
“The holidays are adding up and that means businesses are going down, and nowadays is just not the same anymore because life is expensive and people need to survive.”
“However, there is nothing we can do about it because the government has already decided on this so we just have to go with it.
Another private business owner who wishes to remain anonymous said that the public holidays can be a positive or a negative thing.
“I reckon it’s okay because these two days we will get to spend time with our families,” she said.
“Because for most people, they literally don’t have time for their families as they are too busy running their businesses and worrying about other things but I guess these holidays will be enough to spend as much time as they want with their families.
“I know it will affect businesses but take it as positive thing for us parents. We shouldn’t be worrying about money too much but having time with our families will be a good outcome from all of this.”