Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has declared the Chinese New Year, which falls on January 23 (Monday), as a special non-working day in the country.

Aquino, in his Proclamation No. 295, said the declaration is to give both Chinese-Filipinos and Filipinos alike the opportunity to celebrate the holiday.

“On January 23, 2012, the Chinese nationals all over the world will celebrate Spring Festival, popularly known as the Chinese New Year, which is one of the most revered and festive events celebrated not only in China but also in the Philippines by both Chinese-Filipinos and ordinary Filipinos as well,” President Aquino said in the proclamation.

“The joint celebration is a manifestation of our solidarity with our Chinese-Filipino brethren who have been part of our lives in many respects as a country and as a people,” the President said.

The President also declared Feb. 25, the anniversary of the first Edsa revolution, as a special holiday for schools because “the EDSA People Power Revolution, which restored and ushered political, social and economic reforms in the country, serves as an inspiration to Filipinos everywhere as a nation and as a people.”

The regular holidays for 2012 are: New Year’s Day (Jan. 1); Maundy Thursday (April 5); Good Friday (April 6); Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9); Labor Day (May 1); Independence Day (June 12); National Heroes Day (August 27); Bonifacio Day (Nov. 30); Christmas Day (Dec. 25); and Rizal Day (Dec. 30).

The special non-working days: Chinese New Year (Jan. 23); Ninoy Aquino Day (Aug. 21); All Saints Day (Nov. 1); Additional special non-working day (Nov. 2); and Last Day of the Year (Dec. 31).

Meanwhile, the proclamations declaring the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha – both Muslim holidays – as non-working holidays shall be issued after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar or the lunar calendar.