President Rodrigo Duterte joins all Filipino workers in the country and abroad in the celebration of Labor Day today.

In his statement, Duterte said that the country’s strength “has always depended on the hard work, grit and perseverance of our labor force.”

“Every year, we set aside this day to celebrate their valuable contributions not only in the struggle to provide a better life for our people, but in building the foundations of a more promising future for succeeding generations of Filipinos,” Duterte said.

The president, however, expressed sadness that despite this yearly observance, the plight of Filipino workers, especially those who choose to leave their families so they may earn better compensation abroad, remains the same.

According to Duterte, this is the reason why his administration has implemented measures within its powers to afford full protection to labor and promote equal work opportunities for all.

“I remain optimistic that one year since I issued Executive Order No. 51 implementing existing constitutional and statutory provisions against illegal contracting, my counterparts in Congress will consider passing much needed legislative measures that will fully protect our workers’ rights, especially to security of tenure and self-organization,” Duterte added.

The chief executive further said that he hopes, this solemn observance inspire all of us to work together in improving the plight of our workers by creating an environment conducive to their personal and professional growth and development.

“Today, we celebrate the working class not as a tool of employers and capitalists, but as an essential catalyst for our nation’s overall progress.”