President Rodrigo Duterte has declared Monday, May 9, a non-working holiday to encourage Filipinos to participate in the national and local elections.

Malacañang released Proclamation No. 1357 on Thursday signed by Duterte’s executive secretary Salvador Medialdea.

In the proclamation, Duterte said there was a need to declare the holiday to “enable the people to properly exercise their right to vote, subject to the public health measures of the national government.”

Duterte earlier urged voters to always adhere to the government’s health protocols to prevent a possible surge in Covid-19 cases after the 2022 elections.

Experts have warned of an uptick in cases in the coming weeks due to social gatherings during religious and elections-related activities.

Several areas in the country are under Alert Level 1 until May 15. John Ezekiel J. Hirro