Laborers are backbone of economic growth — Itu PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 May 2015 15:56

By Sheila Covarrubias


Acting Mayor Cesar Iturralde yesterday extolled laborers as the backbone of the country’s economic growth stressing that without the hardworking men and women, the economy is doomed.

Spearheading the celebration of Dia de Obrero or Labor Day at the Ecozone in Talisayan, along with National Youth Council Commissioner at large Jose Rafael Cruz who was the guest of honor, Iturralde said the government, including private industries, multi-national companies and other business establishments whether big or small, is bound to fail without the laborers. Also present during the program were Congresspersons Celso Lobregat of District I and Lilia Nuño of District II (represented by her chief of staff), DOLE- 9 Director Sisinio Cano, Ecozone Chair Christopher Arnuco, Labor leader Jose Suan, Industrial Group representative Ariel Onesa, Management Sector representative Edwin To and some members of the City Council.

“They exist and profit because of their laborers, you and I included”, the acting mayor declared. However, he said, equally important to the laborers are the employers or the management. “They need us as much as we need them. The feeling is mutual, so to speak. At times, there are issues affecting the management-labor relations, but at the end of the day, each needs the other for survival.”

Iturralde also cited Zamboanga City as home to the largest workforce in the entire Zambonga Peninsula citing records from the National statistics Office. The city may not be the regional center but remains to be the industrial, commercial and financial center in Region 9.

Aside from holding the record for highest workforce and highest employment rate, the city, according to Iturralde enjoys industrial peace where the management-labor relations are mutual. “There has never been any dispute or controversy between the labor and management that caused a labor strike and work stoppage. Never.”

For their part, Lobregat, Nuño, Arnuco, Cano, Suan and To also cited the crucial role played by the labor sector in the society and cited the efforts of the different sectors to help maintain industrial peace in the city.

The Labor Day celebration, organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in partnership with the City Government, Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority included a wide array of activities that included job and livelihood fairs, diskwento fair and market market, the launch of job search kiosk, and turnover of kabuhayan starter kits. The City Government also spearheadeded the Dia de Alcalde program providing medical and dental consultations to jobseekers and a TESDA skills demo activity.

The Dia de Obrero activities was open to the public and entrance to the Ecozone for the whole day activity was free including the use of its pools, zipline, and bowling facilities. — Sheila Covarrubias