Sunday, November 18, 2018
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Duterte to spend Labor Day in Cebu

CEBU CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte will spend Labor Day in Cebu and will make an “important” announcement.

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod said the President would, however, stay only for a few hours.

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“But we’re just happy that the President has responded to our invitation,” Maglungsod said.

The President would grace the job fair organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which reportedly has 17,000 jobs on offer in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

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He would be accompanied by several Cabinet members, including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

People were told to expect tight security in the city, which had been placed on full alert status.

Around 400 policemen would be deployed to the different areas in the city, especially in the International Eucharistic (IEC) Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo, the venue of the job fair.

“We are requiring 100 percent attendance of our people, especially on our lower units. Leaves are canceled except for those on emergency or maternity leave,” said Chief Supt. Robert Quenery, Director of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).

Meanwhile, militant groups were also gearing up for the President’s visit.

Metudio Belarmino Jr., spokesperson of the Cebu Labor Coalition (CELAC), said they would hold a protest rally to condemn the President’s failure to stop the practice of labor contracting.

He said President Duterte broke his campaign promise to end “Endo,” which refers to a scheme used by employers that offers only short-term and unprotected temporary work arrangements to workers.

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“He is crazy! First, he [President Duterte] said that he will stop all kinds of contractualization. Now, he suddenly changed his mind and [said] he would no longer an executive order,” Belarmino said.

Quenery gave assurances that they would only allow protesters to stage rallies away from the IEC Pavilion for security reasons and to avoid traffic congestion in the area.

Several roads in Cebu City would also be closed to traffic in preparation for the President’s visit, including portions of roads adjacent to the IEC Pavilion such as the Archbishop Reyes Ave., C. Rosales Ave., and Pope John Paul II Ave. /ee

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TAGS: Cebu, Labor Day, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte
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