Vigan City Officials, Employees Honor Don Belong, Father of RP Labor Union

Article excerpt

Byline: FREDDIE G. LAZARO

VIGAN CITY - City officials and employees of this "world heritage city" paid tribute yesterday to its illustrious son, Don Isabelo de los Reyes, the father of Philippine labor union movement.

It highlighted the observance of the Labor Day here.

Vigan City Mayor Ferdinand C. Medina led the wreath-laying at the foot of a marker of the Don Belong located on Mena Crisologo St.

"The wreath laying at the marker of Don Belong is done every May 1, coinciding with the Viva Vigan Festival, to give importance not only to his achievement as father of labor union but also to honor the workers in the country, particularly those in Vigan City - the birthplace of Don Belong, " Medina said.

Inspired by Don Belong's work as labor leader, Medina's administration in the cooperation with various government agencies is now promoting job opportunities for Vigan residents by conducting trainings to sharpen the skills of the people on livelihood.

"Although the City of Vigan has a high employment rate, we continuously uplift the workers' skills in an effort to meet demand for skilled manpower here and abroad, " he said.

"At present, we're conducting the "eskwela talyer" to enhance the skills in carpentry and masonry of the Biguenos, " he said.

Remembering Don Belong, the mayor noted that he was well known when he organized the first trade union in the country, the Union de Impresores de Filipinas in 1902.

On the same year, he established the Union Obrera Democratica, the Philippines' first labor federation. …