MALACAÑANG has declared April 28 a special non-working day in Metro Manila to give way to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit and related meetings, which is being hosted by the Philippines this year.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea made the declaration by authority of President Rodrigo Duterte in Proclamation No. 197, which was made public on Tuesday.
Medialdea last week signed Memorandum Circular 18 that merely suspended work in public and private sectors and classes at all levels in Manila on April 28.
The difference is that employees who will work on April 28 will get a premium on their salaries as a result of the Palace proclamation.
For government offices inside the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Complex in Pasay City, a week-long work suspension will be implemented from April 24 to 30 (Monday to Sunday).
Meanwhile, work in government offices located at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex will be suspended from April 28 to 30.
The memorandum said suspension of work in the private sector on April 24 to 30 “is left to the discretion of their respective local government units and/or employees based on their assessment.”
Government work in the cities of Pasay, Makati and Manila is also suspended on April 27. Schools in Pasay, Makati and Manila have the discretion to suspend classes on April 27.
The Asean summit and related meetings will be held at the PICC Complex in Pasay City, to be led by the 10 leaders of Asean member-states.
Unite vs China, Asean urged
Ahead of the Asean meet, former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario raised the need for the regional bloc to unite amid China’s unilateralism that has placed at serious risk the vision for a peaceful, rules-based
regional order in Southeast Asia.
Del Rosario said promoting the rule of law and strengthening multilateralism must be key parts of Asean’s response to China.
The greatest immediate source of regional uncertainty, he said, has been China’s unlawful efforts to expand its footprint throughout West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), contravening an agreement between Asean and China in 2002.
“Asean must be united in countering this challenge to its regional centrality and solidarity,” he said during a South China Sea forum organized by Stratbase ADR Institute on Tuesday.