The leadership of the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores) has called the recent effort to eliminate Law 0139–97, “a stab in the heart for domestic tourism.” Law 139–97 allows for movable days of certain holidays, such as Labor Day or Constitution Day. The moving of these creates long weekends that stimulate domestic tourism.
Asonahores says similar moves to change the law in 2014 were rejected by the Senate. Asonahores again trusts this legislation will also not pass into law.
What is known is that some deputies are trying to obtain a ban to moving religious holidays as well as others, and this means the reversal of the current law.
The current law defines five holidays that are not movable: 1 and 21 January, 27 February, 24 September and 25 December. There are five days that are moved to Monday when they coincide with the workday, and these are: 6 January (Three Kings Day), 26 January (Duarte’s birthday), 1 May (Labor Day), Restoration Day (16 August – when it does not coincide with a presidential inauguration), and 6 November (Constitution Day).
If the Senate were to approve these changes suggested by the Chamber of Deputies, only two days would be movable: 16 August and 6 November. This would reduce the positive impact of the law on the economy that was enacted in June 1997 by President Leonel Fernandez.