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Press Conference of the groundbreaking of $50 million Philippine Academy for Aviation Training (PAAT) in Holiday Inn, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga on January 24, 2012 with Clark Development Corporation President Felipe Antonio Remollo, Regional Business Leader of CAE Kevin Speed, Cebu Pacific President and CEO Lance Gokongwei, and Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deepak Obhrai. (Photo by Roel Lazaro PIA 3)
Central Luzon Region

PIA Press Release
Monday, January 30, 2012

PNoy proclaims Feb. 3 a holiday in Bulacan

by Jose Mari Garcia

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan, Jan. 30 (PIA) -- President Benigno Aquino III declared Feb. 3 as a special non-working holiday in Bulacan in line with the 85th birth anniversary of late statesman Blas F. Ople.

The President issued Proclamation No. 323 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Jan. 25 to give Bulakeños the opportunity to remember the noble efforts of the known Father of Overseas Employment and author of the Philippine Labor Code.

"Ople, who served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Senate President and Secretary of Labor, had devoted decades of his life to selfless dedicated and sincere service to our country and our people," said President Aquino.

Ople was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan on Feb. 3, 1927 to Felix Antonio Ople, a craftsman who repaired boat and his wife Segundina Fajardo.

A teenage revolutionary joining the guerilla movement during World War II, Ople held several high-ranking positions in the executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government, including as Senate President from 1999 to 2000 and as Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 2002 until his death.

As a writer, he authored the books Frontier of Social Policy, Workers, Managers, Elites, The Human Spectrum of Development, The Freedom to Achieve, Global but Parochial, the Philippines and the World, and Windows to a Changing World.

Ople also wrote columns for various newspapers like Horizons, Manila Bulletin, Windows, Panorama Magazine, Interface Graphic Magazine and Balintataw Balita.

“Ka Blas” died on Dec. 14, 2003 while en route to Bahrain on diplomatic mission as the country’s emissary.

In an interview with Philippine Graphic, Ople, who was still a senator, was asked to describe his biggest achievements. He replied, “I am the author of the Labor Code of the Philippines which up to this time protects the rights of workers.”

“I also launched the overseas employment program, which created jobs for seven million Filipinos and transformed the lives of millions of families in the Philippines by giving them disposable income over and above subsistence,” he said. (CLJD/JMG-PIA 3)

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