Tourists flock to Hanoi during five-day holidays

Hanoi: Hanoi welcomed 737,900 tourists during the National Reunification and May Day holidays, from April 27 to May 1, up 4% year-on-year, the municipal Department of Tourism said.

The city earned 2.5 trillion VND (98.63 million USD) in tourism revenue on the five-day holidays, representing a year-on-year rise of 10%.

Notably, the number of international holidaymakers reached 87,900, a surge of 48% from the same period last year.

Earlier, the department instructed relevant businesses, organisations and individuals to improve their product and service quality and offer new products to tourists during the holidays.

It planned to present 80,000 gifts, including water, milk and bread, to tourists to the President Ho Chi Minh Museum on the Liberation of the South and National Reunification Day (April 30), May Day, President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday (May 19), and National Day (September 2)./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

NTF-WPS scores latest Chinese harassment of PH ships in Panatag Shoal

MANILA: The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) on Tuesday condemned the latest incident of Chinese harassment which involved China Coast Guard (CCG) ships water cannoning Philippine vessels on their way to provide humanitarian assistance to Filipino fishermen in Panatag Shoal (also known as Bajo De Masinloc and Scarborough Shoal).

“Earlier today CCG and Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM) vessels harassed, blocked, water cannoned, rammed vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) en route to Panatag Shoal to conduct a regular humanitarian and assistance mission to Filipino fishing boats in and around the area,” it said in a statement.

These Filipino ships are the PCG BRP Bagacay (MMRV-4410) and BFAR’s BRP Bankaw (MMOV-3004). The incident also demonstrated China’s willingness to obstruct a Philippine humanitarian mission, the task force said.

These illegal actions were witnessed by members of the local and foreign press, who are rou
tinely invited to embed in these regular BFAR humanitarian and assistance missions for fisherfolk throughout the WPS and other maritime areas.

“Today, the embedded press on the PCG and BFAR vessels have not only witnessed but also experienced first-hand, alongside the determined PCG and BFAR personnel, the illegal, coercive, aggressive, and dangerous actions of the agents of the Chinese Communist Party and their CCG and CMM,” NTF-WPS said.

At this time, both PCG and BFAR vessels have regrouped approximately 20 nautical miles from Panatag Shoal.

Crew members of the two ships are now conducting damage, assessments and are reorganizing following the severe water cannoning by CCG vessels.

“Initial reports from PCG and BFAR personnel onboard, as reflected by live media reports, indicate that the PCG vessel suffered some damage to a part of its superstructure from targeted high-pressure water cannoning by CCG vessels,” the task force said.

Meanwhile, the BRP Bankaw sustained damage to heating,ventilation, and
air conditioning systems; electrical, navigation, and radio systems; and superficial hull damage.

The BFAR ship was subjected to at least eight instances of targeted high-pressure water cannoning from Chinese vessels and was rammed a total of three times by both CCG and CMM craft.

“These latest demonstrations of China’s illegal and irresponsible behavior highlight their egregious disregard for the Philippines’ lawful exercise of its rights and entitlements in our own EEZ. Clearly, China has no regard for the welfare of our fishermen who only want to make a decent living in the WPS. China’s act of obstructing civilian ships carrying only supplies for our fishermen calls into question the sincerity of their call for dialogue and peaceful approaches to de-escalate the situation in the WPS,” NTF-WPS added.

It also said the Philippines will continue to act peacefully and responsibly, consistent with rules-based international law, based on United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the valid an
d binding 2016 Arbitral Award.

Peace and stability in the region cannot be achieved if countries, big or small, do not exercise due regard for the well-established and legally-settled rights of others.

“The Philippines will not be deterred from pursuing legitimate and lawful activities in our maritime zones, including in BDM which is a vital source of livelihood for our fisherfolk,” NTF-WPS said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

PBBM honors working class, vows continued gov’t support

MANILA: As the country pays tribute to the toil and sacrifices of workers on Labor Day, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. vowed to continue supporting the working class in their pursuit of improved working conditions and better life quality.

In his message released by the Office of the President on social media Wednesday, Marcos paid tribute to the noble and diligent Filipino workers, highlighting their contributions to the country’s development thrust.

‘From the bustling cities to the remote fields in the countryside, it is the labor of the Filipino that propels us forward, fueling our economy and sustaining the very fabric of our society,’ Marcos said.

‘On this special day, we recognize the invaluable contributions of our hardworking men and women whose grit and resilience have paved the way for our national development. We also pay homage to all the people who raised their voices in the pursuit of social justice, championing the rights of workers and ensuring that their efforts are duly valued and compe
nsated,’ he added.

The President noted that the government ‘continues to support the working class and uphold the principles of fairness, dignity, and equity across all workspaces.’

‘Indeed, under the banner of a Bagong Pilipinas, we will usher in an era of greater prosperity where opportunities abound, creating a society where every worker is cherished, respected, and empowered to thrive,’ he said.

Marcos will lead the Labor Day celebration in MalacaƱang where he is expected to award outstanding workers in the country and unveil the Department of Labor and Employment’s masterplan for the soon-to-be built Workers’ Rehabilitation Center Complex.

Meanwhile, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the agency joins the nation in recognizing the valuable role of all Filipino workers in the country’s development.

“Today, the Philippines joins other nations in the global celebration of Labor Day. On behalf of the men and women of the DND, I convey our solidarity with the Filipin
o people in recognizing the immense sacrifices and contributions of Filipino workers both here and abroad,” he said in a message forwarded to reporters.

Teodoro also reminded the public of the importance of supporting peace and security efforts.

“A stable and secure environment is essential for economic progress, ensuring that prosperity is within reach of every Filipino,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

More than 50K unaccompanied child migrants went missing in Europe

ATHENS: More than 50,000 unaccompanied child migrants went missing after arriving in Europe, a survey by a European journalism project revealed Tuesday.

‘Italy has the highest number of registered missing unaccompanied minors, with 22,899, followed by Austria (20,077), Belgium (2,241), Germany (2,005), and Switzerland (1,226),’ according to the Lost in Europe project, which gathered data from 13 European countries from 2021 – 2023.

The survey said the number of missing children may be even higher because data is often unreliable and incomplete, and many European countries do not collect data on missing unaccompanied minors.

‘These shocking findings underscore the seriousness of the issue, with thousands of children missing and their whereabouts unknown,’ it said.

‘The increased number of reports on missing unaccompanied minors serves as a sharp reminder of the giant iceberg that looms beneath the surface,’ Aagje Ieven, head of Missing Children Europe, said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

VP Sara salutes ‘modern-day’ heroes for hard work, dedication

MANILA: Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte on Wednesday, Labor Day, lauded the dedication and hard work of so-called modern-day heroes.

“Saludo kami sa hindi matatawarang sipag at dedikasyon ninyo. Ang bawat araw ninyong pagsusumikap ay aming gabay tungo sa landas ng pag-unlad ng ating bayan (We salute your unwavering diligence and dedication. Each day of your hard work serves as our guide towards the prosperity of our nation),” she said in a statement.

Duterte also highlighted the contributions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), medical and security frontliners, community workers, teachers, and all other workers both in public service and private sectors in nation-building.

“Kayo ang itinuturing na tunay na bayani sa makabagong panahon. Nawa’y ipagpatuloy natin ang pagtahak sa isang maunlad na kinabukasan (You’re the true heroes of the new age. We hope to continue to move forward to a brighter future),” she added.

In the education sector, meanwhile, Duterte approved the rationalizat
ion of the workloads and specifications of ancillary tasks of all public school teachers, two days before Labor Day, through Department Order No. 5, series of 2024.

Under DO 5, teachers are allowed to spend longer time, equivalent to six hours, on classroom-based teaching, with the remaining two hours for ancillary tasks which may be done within and outside school premises.

Before the issuance of the order, Duterte earlier directed the removal of administrative tasks from teachers to promote their welfare; as well as improve the quality of teaching processes and outcomes.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DOLE marks foundation of workers rights as Labor Code turns 50

MANILA: The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) commemorates the signing of the Labor Code of the Philippines 50 years ago which serves as the foundation of Filipino workers’ rights and industrial peace.

In a news release on Wednesday, DOLE said the Labor Code ‘not only promotes employment but would also sear the rights, security, and welfare of every Filipino worker as inalienable.’

Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. in 1974 signed Presidential Decree 442, the decree instituting a labor code, revising and consolidating labor and social laws to afford protection to labor, promote employment and human resources development, and ensure industrial peace based on social justice.

This has become the fundamental law that governs the welfare, protection, and well-being of every Filipino worker.

The DOLE also hailed then Labor Minister Blas Ople who facilitated the law into existence, making him the ‘Father of the Labor Code.’

‘The Labor Code secured protection of workers and their welfare through it
s provisions on pre-employment and employment rules on minimum wage and overtime pay, working hours, health and safety standards, and collective bargaining, among others,’ the DOLE said.

During the celebration of the 122nd Labor Day in Malacanang, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. also recalled his father’s signing of the law 50 years ago.

He also quoted the former president as saying that growth will always be tempered by justice and that development will always be weighed by the dignity of man.

‘Exactly 50 years ago, on these very same grounds, my father, then-President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., signed the Labor Code of the Philippines, in the presence of representatives of various sectors. The Labor Code, borne out of the vision for development, employment, and social justice, has been one of the most enduring pieces of social legislation in the country,’ Marcos said.

Since then, the Labor Code has evolved amid the challenges brought in by modern times, to provide further protection to special groups such
as women, minors, and those in the informal and vulnerable sectors.

For the past 50 years, the Labor Code has remained the bedrock from which other edicts and laws emanated, such as the Wage Rationalization Act of 1989, the Batas Kasambahay Law, the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Act, laws against child labor, and the mandatory provision of social security benefits to workers.

Another offspring of the Labor Code was the institutionalization of the speedy resolution of labor disputes through the establishment of the National Labor Relations Commission, as well as ensuring industrial peace and scaffolding it through the wisdom of tripartite councils and other bodies.

The DOLE, meanwhile, called on all employers, workers, and policymakers to draw strength from the milestones of the Labor Code in promoting social justice under the “Bagong Pilipinas” (New Philippines).

Labor Secretary Bienvinido Laguesma vowed to champion workers rights’ while providing them with timely service.

‘Sa ilalim ng patnubay ng ad
ministrasyon ng ating Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., higit na pag-iibayuhin ng kagawaran ang pagpapaabot ng mga kailangan at angkop na programa para sa ikabubuti at ikakaangat ng buhay ng manggagagawang Pilipino (Under the guidance of the administration of our President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the department will further enhance the delivery of necessary and appropriate programs for the betterment and upliftment of the lives of Filipino workers),’ Laguesma said.

Source: Philippines News Agency