MANILA – Some 8,000 police officers were deployed across Metro Manila Wednesday to secure Labor Day protests, while the government touted the regularization of contractual workers under its campaign against the "end of contract" or "endo" scheme.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who promised during the 2016 campaign to stop "endo", signed last year an executive order stopping illegal contractualization.
Almost half a million workers have been regularized under the Duterte administration, said Labor Chief Silvestre Bello.
"Wala naman sigurong mareklamo ang mga manggagawa natin. Tingnan n'yo na lang ang record," he told radio DZMM.
(Our workers perhaps have nothing to complain about. Just look at the record.)
Some 200,000 local and foreign jobs will also be up for grabs across the labor department's regional offices Wednesday, said Bello.
Officials will also sign on Labor Day the implementing rules of a law guaranteeing 105 days of paid maternity leave credits, he said.
The President will lead the groundbreaking of a hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga dedicated solely to overseas workers this afternoon, Bello added.
Meanwhile, the deployment of lawmen will be concentrated in the capital, where protesters are expected to march towards Don Chino Roces Avenue near Malacañan Palace, said Metro Manila police chief Major General Guillermo Eleazar.
Police have not monitored any threat to the Labor Day protest, but were coordinating with concerned agencies, he said in a separate DZMM interview.
"Ang atin lang namang gustong mangyari ay ang ating mga magkikilos protesta ay sumunod sa mga pinag-usapan, at the same time, ay hindi sila magkaroon ng kaguluhan na puwedeng magresulta ng hindi maayos na daloy ng trapiko," he said.
(All we want is for protesters to obeyed what we talked about, at the same time, refrain from creating chaos that may disrupt traffic.)
The Manila police earlier warned of heavy traffic in the capital's Mendiola and Morayta districts, the US Embassy office in Ermita, Plaza Miranda in Quiapo and Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City.
— DZMM TeleRadyo (@DZMMTeleRadyo) April 30, 2019
With reports from Lyza Aquino and Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News