Duterte to unveil Labor Day recovery package

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star
Duterte to unveil Labor Day recovery package
President Rodrigo Duterte is seen in this file photo.
Presidential Photo / King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — To enable millions of unemployed Filipinos to return to work and have food on the table, Malacañang will re-launch today the government’s employment recovery program.

Under the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) action plan, the government aims to spearhead an employment push from 2021 to 2022, anchored on the updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the ReCharge PH through the expansion of the trabaho, negosyo, kabuhayan initiative.

During the launch, President Duterte is expected to deliver, via video, his Labor Day message, to be followed by a virtual job summit led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). An executive order on NERS will also be signed.

As a “fitting tribute” to Filipino workers on Labor Day, 3,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and 2,000 minimum wage earners under the A4 priority list will be inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines today, according to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

“This is a symbol of our love and concern to our workers, including our OFWs,” Bello noted.

“The Department of National Defense expresses solidarity with workers as the country observes Labor Day this May. On this day, we recognize the invaluable contributions of workers from different sectors of society. They are heroes who continue to serve to meet the needs of our country and even in other parts of the world,” DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana added.

For his part, Sen. Francis Pangilinan urged the nation to honor the sacrifices of health care workers, frontliners and other essential workers.

“This Labor Day, let’s thank and honor all those who have kept our country running this year amid the coronavirus pandemic – medical frontliners, teachers, delivery drivers, security guards, food service workers, police, work-from-home staff, entertainers and many more workers,” Pangilinan said.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles extended prayers for Filipino workers.

“Please know that you are prayed for, you are remembered and we are mindful of the great difficulties that many of you are working and laboring for many kinds of services,” Valles said.

Apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, meanwhile, appealed to government to provide subsidies to those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic lockdowns.


Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said they would be highlighting China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea and President Duterte’s continuing subservience to Beijing in today’s Labor Day protests at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

“The working people are on the losing end as there is no mass vaccination even as Duterte professes ‘utang na loob’ to China. The working people are at the losing end here because they will be saddled by millions in debt, while Duterte surrenders our EEZ in the name of thanking China,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said.

Philippine National Police spokesman Brig. Ronaldo Olay said 10,000 police officers from the National Capital Region Police Office would be deployed in Metro Manila to deal with cause-oriented groups who will hold Labor Day rallies.

He assured them of maximum tolerance, but appealed to rally organizers to hold their protests online instead to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Olay pointed out that rallies are considered mass gatherings, which are prohibited under the modified enhanced community quarantine imposed over NCR and other nearby areas.

Sunny weather

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned residents of Luzon to brace for “warmer temperature” on Labor Day.

“Expect a warmer temperature over Luzon and everyone is advised to reduce their outdoor activities or prolonged exposure to sunlight which may cause extreme danger,” PAGASA weather division officer-in-charge Vicente Palcon Jr. said.

In Metro Manila, maximum temperature is likely to reach 37.5 degrees Celsius, followed by partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated afternoon or evening rainshowers and thunderstorms for the rest of the country.

Easterlies – warm air from the Pacific – will be the main prevailing system. – Sheila Crisostomo, Michael Punongbayan, Paolo Romero, Robertzon Ramirez, Rhodina Villanueva, Emmanuel Tupas, Helen Flores

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