Jesse Robredo Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: August 18, 2024

Jesse Robredo Day in the Philippines Jesse Robredo Day (Araw ni Jesse Robredo) is observed in the Philippines annually on August 18. It was established to honor the memory of Jesse Robredo, the 23rd secretary of the interior and local government, who was killed in a plane crash on August 18, 2012.

Jesse Robredo was born Jesus Manalastas Robredo on May 27, 1958 in the City of Naga. Upon graduating from high school, he entered De La Salle University in Manila, where he studied industrial and mechanical engineering. After obtaining his undergraduate degrees, Robredo obtained an MBA from the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City.

In 1986, Robredo returned to Naga and started working at the Bicol River Basin Development Program. It was there that he met Leni Gerona, who would eventually become his wife. Robredo’s political career took off in 1988, when he was elected mayor of Naga. He served as mayor for three consecutive terms from 1988 to 1998; after a three-year break, Robredo was re-elected and served for three more consecutive terms from 2001 to 2010. During the break, Robredo became the first mayor in the Philippines to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of his achievements.

After serving as a mayor of Naga for a total of 19 years, Robredo was appointed as secretary of the interior and local government in Benigno Aquino III’s administration (the post previously held by Aquino himself). Upon taking on his new job, Robredo focused on relocating slum residents in Metro Manila to newly built in-city tenement housing units in order to make way for development projects without depriving residents from their usual livelihoods. His approach contrasted with earlier government housing efforts that included forced eviction and relocation to remote areas.

On August 18, 2012, Robredo boarded a chartered Piper PA-34 Seneca light aircraft in Cebu City to attend his daughter’s swimming competition in Naga. En route to Naga, the plane suffered engine problems and requested an emergency landing at Masbate Airport, but crashed into the sea several hundred meters from Masbate Island. The sole survivor of the crash was Robredo’s aide, Police Chief Inspector June Paolo Abrazado.

Robredo’s body was found and brought to shore by the Philippine Coast Guard three days after the crash. He was survived by his wife, three daughters, and his siblings. After a state funeral in Naga and an official wake in Malacañang Palace in Manila, Robredo’s cremated remains were entombed in a crypt at Eternal Gardens, a memorial park in Naga. He was posthumously awarded the Quezon City Cross (the highest national recognition in the country) and the rank of Chief Commander of the Philippine Legion of Honor for his service to the nation.

Jesse Robredo Day was first observed on August 18, 2016. It is a special working holiday in most of the Philippines, which means employees are not entitled to a day off on the occasion. However, Jesse Robredo Day is a special non-working holiday in the City of Naga (employees are entitled to an unpaid day off or an additional compensation of 30% of their regular daily wage if they work).

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