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President Aquino spends Labor Day in Cebu

CEBU CITY, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III spent his Labor Day holiday in Cebu. He first went to Naga City to observe and assess power supply problems at the Korean Electric Power Plant (Kepco).

He directed Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz to personally look into – and find a solution – to the labor dispute the company has with its employees. The employees of the power supplier have threatened to strike.

Several talks achieved no compromise. Nothing changed for about a month since the employees' dispute with the management of the power plant began.

Baldoz was in Cebu to meet with management, along with 11 supervisors and the 44 employees who had threatened to strike.

“Minimal disruption for everybody ang dapat natin habulin,” said the President. (We should aim for minimal disruption.)

Aquino emphasized that any power disruption would greatly affect the economy of the province.

Aquino also visited Negros Occidental on April 30. Cebu and Negros are both vote-rich provinces.

Exequiel Sarcauga, DOLE Central Visayas (DOLE-7) regional director went to the Kepco-Naga plant early this morning to continue the marathon negotiations which was started afternoon of Thursday, April 30. No agreement was reached.

He also attended the inauguration of the P2-billion University of Cebu Medical Center’s Mandaue City facility as guest of honor.

Augusto Go, president and owner of the UC schools in Metro Cebu, gave the President a tour himself.

Go is a friend of the president's late mother and former President Corazon Aquino.

The UC Medical Center is a 12-story hospital and training center. The hospital boasts of a 3-D mammography with tomosynthesis, claiming to be a first in Southeast Asia. It also has the first 3-D endoalpha minimally invasive surgery operating room in Southeast Asia.

The President was also in Cebu as an invited guest of the Jobstart Philippine Forum for young Filipinos.

In Mandaue City, Aquino interacted with some of the young participants in the Jobstart forum which discussed employability of Filipino youth.

While Aquino was at the J. Center Mall for the forum in Mandaue City, the activist group Bayan staged a protest rally about 100 meters away. The group criticized Aquino for poor labor projects under his administration. – Rappler.com