MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday vowed to continue giving Filipino workers “opportunities” needed to reach their full potential as the country celebrates Labor Day.
“This administration, even if it is coming nearly to a close, shall remain committed to providing the people with the opportunities they need to realize their full potential,” Duterte said.
Duterte lauded Filipino workers for being known worldwide for their “great passion, integrity and professionalism” they demonstrate in everything that they do.
“These qualities have not only brought economic gains to our country, but have also been a source of immense pride and encouragement among our people,” he added.
Labor Day, he said, gives the nation a chance to celebrate all the triumphs and progress that the labor movement has accomplished over the years.
However, he also acknowledged the need to swiftly address the challenges faced by the labor market.
“We are likewise reminded to overcome the challenges by recognizing the rights of our workers and reassessing the systems that may hinder their growth and development,” he added.
Since Labor Day falls on a weekend, he expressed hope all workers take it as an opportunity to recharge “as you continue to work for yourselves, your families and our nation”.
Duterte is scheduled to lead the 120th Labor Day celebration in Pampanga, highlighted by the opening of the country’s first Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Hospital, located in the City of San Fernando.
Dignified work access
In a separate statement, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said there is a need for improvements to achieve access to dignified work.
"While great strides have been achieved in the improvement of labor conditions in the country, we recognize the imbalance in opportunities and the need for improvement in order to achieve equitable access to dignified work for everyone. As part of the security sector, the DND endeavors to secure our country and create an environment conducive to national development," Lorenzana said.
Among the DND efforts is its commitment to help rebel returnees reintegrate successfully with and become productive members of their communities after turning their backs on rebellion and violence.
"As the nation pays tribute to workers from all industries and walks of life, may we also be reminded of the importance of supporting peace and security efforts to ensure that economic progress will become viable and within reach for all Filipinos," he added.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police announced that all security preparations are in place for Sunday's “Duterte Legacy Caravan” at Edsa People Power Monument in Quezon City.
The “Duterte Legacy Caravan: Pagkakaisa ng Mamamayan at Pamahalaan Tungo sa Pagbangon, Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran” brings the government closer to the Filipino public.
Organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict through the Philippine National Police (PNP), it is a collaboration and convergence of services of government agencies as well as volunteers and force multipliers.
The campaign aims to inform the public about the government’s programs, policies, accomplishments, and efforts to bring about real change to the lives of the Filipino people by showcasing real-life stories of beneficiaries of landmark policies and programs.
“We assure our President, the Filipino people, and our beloved country that as part of the Duterte Legacy, we shall remain steadfast and committed in sustaining and enhancing his projects and programs in the campaign against illegal drugs, anti-criminality, violent extremism, lawlessness, terrorism, and Covid 19, among others," said PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos, who graced the event.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said over two million people have been served since the caravan started in October 2021.
“Over the last six years, the Duterte administration initiated a chain of positive events in our lives by ensuring peaceful and safe communities, getting rid of illegal drugs, combatting all forms of corruption, providing proactive and efficient social services, and upholding the human rights of the people, while moving towards post-Covid-19 economic recovery,” Año said in a statement.
Año said the conduct of the last of the series of Duterte Legacy caravans was perfectly timed to coincide with Labor Day to underscore the significant contributions of the labor sector to the Philippine economy and in the whole-of-nation approach that brings about real change on the ground.
Some of the essential government services offered in caravans are issuance of police clearance; health checkups; free haircut; Philippine Health Insurance Corporation registration; processing of birth, marriage, and death certificates; distribution of food packs and Nego Cart Packages; and Mobile Kusina Tele-Eskwela Bayanihan hot meals.
Local projects under the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) were also showcased during the caravans.
The SBDP is the last phase of the strategy to achieve peace in communities from the declaration of insurgency-free communities by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, to the capacity development program of the DILG Retooled Community Support Program.
So far, 293 out of 2,318 SBDP 2021 projects in insurgency-cleared and geographically isolated disadvantaged areas villages have been completed; 1,362 are ongoing, 346 are on procurement stage, and 317 are on pre-procurement stage. (With a report from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)