by Samuel Medenilla
President Duterte is set to hold a dialogue with labor groups and management representatives as part of the government’s 115th Labor Day celebration, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.
Around 1,000 workers are expected to attend the event on May 1, 2017, at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.
Bello said Duterte will meet with stakeholders before the scheduled mass protests of labor groups.
“This is part of the President’s commitment with the labor sector to hold a quarterly dialogue with them… This just shows that our President is a listening president. He listens and is sensitive to the needs of our workers,” Bello said.
During the “free-wheeling” dialogue, Bello said they expect labor groups to raise contractualization and other labor-related concerns.
This was confirmed by Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) spokesman Alan Tanjusay in a text message.
“We hope Mr. Duterte will make economic growth inclusive to workers by gifting workers with the banning of contractualization work arrangement and announcing a significant wage hike to all workers nationwide,” Tanjusay said.
ALU-TUCP will be among several labor groups that will join the nationwide mass demonstrations during Labor Day to demand for better working conditions.
Bello said they welcomed this democratic exercise as an opportunity for them to learn about the needs of their stakeholders.
“We welcome all forms of rallies or demonstrations or mass actions provided they are peaceful and no laws is violated,” Bello said.
Meanwhile, Bello announced that its regional offices will put up on April 29 a one-day “clinics,” where participants could avail themselves of services from DOLE and its attached agencies like pre-employment and dispute resolution.
On Labor Day, at least 200,000 jobs vacancies will be offered in 50 simultaneous Trabaho, Negosyo, at Kabuhayan (TNK) fairs.
As part of the month-long Labor Day celebration, DOLE will also hold a special forum in Davao City for workers in the informal sector on May 6, 2017.
A Special Job Fair for relocatees of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Regions 3, 4-A, and Metro Manila will also be held from May 8 to 9.