Working day, no classes for EDSA anniversary

By Delon Porcalla, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 24 2014 09:23 AM | Updated as of Feb 24 2014 05:23 PM

MANILA - Tomorrow is a regular working day for the public and private sectors, but schools nationwide will have no classes, Malacañang said yesterday.

Speaking over state-run dzRB radio, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said under Proclamation 655 Series of 2013 issued by President Aquino, the EDSA People Power Revolution Day is only a school holiday.

“This simply means that there will be no classes in all levels, but this will be a regular working day,” he said.

Last week, Coloma said that this year’s 28th EDSA anniversary will be celebrated in the Visayas, where Aquino will spend time with victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Aquino transferred the celebrations from Manila to Cebu so he can revisit the areas affected by recent natural calamities before he leaves for his official visit to Malaysia on Feb. 27-28, he added.

Coloma stressed the importance of the theme of celebration – Kapit-Bisig Tungo sa Pagbangon.

“The President said it was important to rally the people in the calamity-affected areas to rekindle the spirit of EDSA People Power in building back better communities,” he said.

“Hence, the original plan to hold the commemorative events in Malacañang was shelved. The traditional Salubungan or commemoration of the meeting between the civilian and military participants of EDSA People Power will be held on Tuesday morning at the Cebu provincial capitol grounds.”
Coloma said Cebu was chosen as venue because the province was the bulwark of the opposition to the dictatorship during the martial law regime.

“It was in Cebu City where Mrs. Corazon Aquino was staying when the military broke ranks from President Marcos on Feb. 22, 1986,” he said.

Aquino will meet today the survivors of Typhoon Pablo and of rains spawned by the low pressure area in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

He is expected to arrive at Davao International Airport at around 9:30 a.m. today.

He will then fly by helicopter to the coastal town of Cateel, one of the hardest-hit municipalities when Pablo and the LPA struck recently.

Aquino will hold a “Pulong Bayan sa Cateel” immediately upon his arrival. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. will present to him beneficiaries of the hot chili plantation and rice production projects undertaken as part of recovery efforts for residents of Cateel and the adjacent towns in Davao Oriental.

A farmer benefiting from the rehabilitation of Lumao bridge will be presented to Aquino in today’s Pulong Bayan sa Cateel.

Aquino will inspect the various recovery projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after the onslaught of Pablo and the low pressure area last December.

Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon said everything has been put in place for the visit of Aquino.

She will present to Aquino the different efforts of the provincial government for the rehabilitation of monsoon-affected areas.

Aquino will start off this year’s anniversary with an inspection of the different recovery projects for the benefit of the victims of Pablo.

He will start his tour at Baganga, Davao Oriental for the inspection of the repaired Manurigao bridge.

This project of the DPWH will enable goods and services to be easily accessible to the hard-hit towns of Pablo. This would also enable the provincial government to carry out more development plans for the fast recovery of the three towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga.

From there, Aquino will inspect rice granaries and palay farmlands that were assisted by the Department of Agriculture. In particular, Aquino will visit “Hot Pablo” chili farms soon to export chili products overseas. Aquino will also spend a few minutes in a program where he will have a dialogue with farmers who have exhibited extraordinary resiliency in the aftermath of typhoons.

Pulong Bayan at Loon

From Cateel, Aquino will fly to Loon, Bohol to have a pulong bayan (town hall meeting) with representatives comprised of the survivors and volunteers of the recent calamities the country has faced such as the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda.

Participants are invited to a dialogue with Aquino by sharing their stories, especially the manifestation of People Power to overcome trying times.

Aquino will also inspect a newly constructed government hospital at the site before the town hall meeting.

Wreath-laying ceremony

To contextualize the EDSA Revolution as the culmination of a nation’s quest for freedom and to honor all heroes who fought for the same, a wreath- laying ceremony will be held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig this morning. Former President Fidel Ramos will be invited to lead the activities.– With Edith Regalado