Incoming labor undersecretary Joel Maglunsod is a former political detainee and Anakpawis Partylist representative. (Ace R. Morandante)

Incoming labor undersecretary Joel Maglunsod is a former political detainee and Anakpawis Partylist representative. (Ace R. Morandante)

DAVAO CITY – A labor leader who is a former political detainee and House representative has been included in the roster of Duterte’s cabinet appointees.

Former Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Joel Maglunsod was named as the incoming undersecretary for the Department of Labor on Tuesday night, June 2.

Maglunsod, who hails from Mindanao, became a congressman in 2009.

When he swore into office seven years ago, he vowed to continue the fight for the increase of workers’ salary.

Maglunsod also served labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno for 30 years. He is currently KMU’s vice chairperson for Mindanao. He was a political detainee during the time of Martial Law.

Maglunsod joins other progressive individuals in Duterte’s cabinet. UP Professor Judy Taguiwalo and Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano were named as the incoming social welfare secretary and agrarian reform secretary, respectively, on Monday, May 31.

Duterte also said that he would be giving the National Anti-Poverty Commission to a woman from the Left.

In an interview with reporters, Maglunsod said he will push for the passing of the Regular Employment Bill which was filed in Congress by the Makabayan coalition.

The Regular Employment Bill “seeks to delete Articles 106 and 107 of the Labor Code which allows labor-only contracting and job contracting practices where specific jobs are farmed out to contractors or agencies or arrangements where specific work or service despite being essential to the company’s operation are contracted only for a specific period of time”

Maglunsod said that he has not yet talked with incoming Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello.

Elmer Labog, KMU chairperson said Maglunsod would surely push for pro-worker reforms and policies in government.

“He would surely oppose capitalist attacks on workers by pushing for workers’ rights to a minimum wage, job security, unionization and safe workplaces. Ka Jomag would surely advance the legacy of the late labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, of which he is a proud inheritor,” he said.

Labog said they see Maglunsod’s appointment as a highlight of the difference between Duterte and outgoing president Benigno Aquino III “who is vulgarly anti-worker and pro-capitalist.”

“Duterte’s appointment of a DOLE official from the ranks of KMU shows his openness to listening to genuinely pro-worker and pro-poor voices from within his government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte also named his executive assistant, Christopher Lawrence Go as the chief for the Presidential Management Staff and as special assistant to the president.

The other appointees include: General Edgar Galvante was named as Land Transportation Office chief, Eduardo del Rosario as undersecretary for civil veterans and retirees of the Department of National Defense and TV5 reporter Martin Andanar as head of the  Presidential Communications Operations Office. (

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