CEBU CITY -- President Benigno Aquino was in Cebu Friday to observe the 113th Labor Day, away from the protest noise in Manila and a departure of the traditional labor rites in Malacanang.
The President traditionally holds a breakfast meeting with various labor groups in Malacanang.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President's activities in Cebu is more meaningful in terms of more employment, increase in productivity and a better quality of life of the country's labor force.
"The President is the president of all Filipinos and being the President of the Philippines, he would like to reach out to as many of our countrymen in as many regions and provinces of the country, Coloma said.
The secretary explained that this is similar to the 2014 Edsa celebration held in Cebu. The President wanted to remember that his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, started the People Power while in Cebu.
He added that the people of Cebu are part of the People Power celebration same as the people of Visayas and Mindanao even if they were not physically present in Edsa.
Aquino attended the JobStart Employers forum at J. Center Mall in Mandaue City. He later proceeded to the inauguration of the UC Medical Hospital. From Cebu City, the President proceeded to Naga City and inaugurated the new cement facility of APO-Cemex.
The President in his speech at APO-Cemex said his administration hopes to improve the gross domestic product of 6.3 percent to 8 percent before the end of 2015.
The 6.3 percent GDP growth from 2010-2014 is the highest 5-year growth rate the country experienced in 40 years, Coloma explained.
Coloma further said that to hasten the trickle-down effect of the improvement in the economy the administration strengthened its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which now as 4 million beneficiaries.
The 4Ps program provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition and education of children 0-18 years old.
Coloma said the 4Ps has already covered the 23 percent of the Class D or the poorest of the poor population.
He also cited latest survey of the Social Weather Stations that found a four percent reduction of jobless Filipinos in first quarter of 2015.
Coloma added there has been an increase in the quality of the workplace and this due to the improvement in the country’s labor laws and standards.”(Mildred V. Galarpe with Bb Girl Grace Ann Gonzales NORSU Intern)