NO good news of wage hikes or benefits for workers on Labor Day, but President Benigno Aquino took the opportunity to campaign for 2016 and once again bash his political enemies.
In his Labor Day speech the President indirectly started campaigning for his anointed successor as he asked voters to choose leaders who will continue his reforms after he steps down from office in 2016.
“Ang pakiusap ko po kung naniniwala kayo na tama ang ating ginagawa, kung ayaw nyong mabalewala ang maganda nating nasimulan, piliin natin ang mga susunod na pinunong magpapatuloy at higit pang magpapayabong sa ating mga naipunlang reporma,” Aquino said at a manufacturing compound in Biñan, Laguna.
Political pundits believed that Aquino’s remarks were in apparent response to the Pulse Asia survey showing Vice President Jejomar Bi-nay leading the presidential race if elections were held today.
The President chose to mark Labor Day in Laguna whose people he thanked for making him their number one pick during the 2010 presidential elections.
Aquino is believed to be grooming Liberal Party president and Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II as his successor.
Roxas and Binay are expected to face off in the 2016 polls.
“Piliin natin ang karapat-dapat upang maging permanent ang malawakang transpormasyong tinatamasa na ng ating lipunan,” the President added.
He also took a swipe at the previous administration noting that the Arroyo administration’s policies led to more unemployment. Earlier, the President cited the successes of the manufacturing sector on his watch.
“Kung tutuusin nga po, pwedeng noon pa man ay nagawa na ang mga pagbabagong ito sa ating bansa. Subalit dahil sa mga pinunong inuna o inuuna ang pansariling interes, matagal tayong nasadlak sa malubhang kahirapan at katiwalian,” he said.
Aquino did not make any announcement of benefits for laborers but chose the occasion to defend his economic record, pointing out that his projects in the Technical Educational Skills Development Authority led to the creation of jobs in the semiconductors and electronics industry.
Aquino noted that previously, there were many vacant jobs because of a mismatch of skills between graduates and the jobs available. He said his administration worked with business leaders to fix this.
The President renewed his pledge to work on inclusive growth, stressing that on his watch, the number of Filipinos below the poverty line declined by 3 percentage points or over 2 millionFilipinos.
Earlier the President was non-committal to labor workers’ concerns in a dialogue his cabinet hosted in Malacañang.