People march in Manila, the Philippines, on May 1 to request the government to address labour issues (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thousands of workers and activists in the Philippines marched on May 1 to request the government to address labour issues. 

Police estimated up to 10,000 workers and activists took part in the rally near the Office of the Philippine President – Malacanang Palace to demonstrate against what they said was President Rodrigo Duterte's failure to keep a campaign promise to get rid of short-term employment contracts.

The demonstrators also called on the government to solve other problems like low wage, unemployment and trade union benefits.

About 8,000 police and soldiers were deployed to ensure security. There were no reports of violence.

The president’s spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte was holding meetings with labour groups to address the issues and he may still sign an order to end short-term labour contracts.

A pledge to act against employers who hire workers short-term and without adequate benefits, helped Duterte, a former city mayor, win the presidency in May 2016.

Shortly after assuming power, President Duterte warned that any company that failed to stop hiring short-term labour risked closure.

However, trade unions said the practice has persisted, particularly in shopping malls and the fast-food industry, where firms keep issuing staff with contracts short enough to avoid having to provide them proper benefits.-VNA