Duterte to suspend gov’t work, classes on September 21

Pia Ranada
Duterte to suspend gov’t work, classes on September 21

Albert Alcain

(UPDATED) 'I have declared it as a day of protest,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte said he will suspend government work and classes on Thursday, September 21, a day he calls a “national day of protest.”

“No, September 21 is not a holiday. I have declared it as a day of protest,” he said on Monday, September 18, during the wake of a Caloocan City policeman.

When asked if this means he will be suspending government work and classes, he replied in the affirmative.

“Oo, walang trabaho. At kung gusto ng mga taga-gobyerno, may mga union, the unions… they should participate,” said Duterte.

(Yes, no work. And if they want, those in government, in unions, they should participate.)

On Tuesday, September 19, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Office of the Executive Secretary was set to issue a memorandum circular suspending work and classes nationwide on September 21.

“The acting Executive Secretary will issue a memorandum circular suspending work in government offices, both national and local, as well as classes in all public schools states colleges and universities,” he said during a Palace news briefing.

Private companies and schools can decide on their own whether or not to suspend work or classes too.

Abella clarified that September 21 “is not a special nonworking holiday.” 

On Monday, Duterte invited all those who have grievances with government to join the rallies on September 21, a day when many protesters are expected to commemorate the anniversary of Martial Law.

“Come down here, I will not arrest you. But for the life of me, I am asking you, do not commit a crime,” he said. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.