MANILA, May 2, 2013—Celebrating Labor Day on May 1, the head of the Catholic Church here in the country paid tribute to the workers’ priceless contribution to the Philippine society.
In a Eucharistic Mass held at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle stressed that labor is one of the first divine mission given by God to man. It is not punishment and not burdensome.
“Jesus Christ was also a worker. As the first worker, Jesus Christ makes our life meaningful and blessed. That is why there is sanctity in labor and the workers,” Tagle said.
“The Church entering the field of labor is not called meddling but is a part of our mission.
Because the Church knows that there have been many changes going on and we are here to help our brothers and sisters in the labor force,” Tagle added.
Tagle urged all labor groups to become one in aspiring for the better good and welfare of all.
He also highlighted that the importance of human rights and the equality of all regardless of their classifications and status.
“Members of the labor force have rights to uphold. We need to respect them,” Tagle furthered.
Worker groups have long been asking for proper salary and benefits which the government has yet to act upon.
Wage hike being demanded from the government ranged from P85.00 to P125.00.
The Cardinal also conveyed his worry over modern trend in the labor sector that tends to destroy the rights of Filipino laborers.
He thanked those labor groups who attended the mass and reminded them to work hard for blessings will come.
He also called for unity among labor groups and associations together with Non-governmental Organizations (NGO), the faithful, opposition and those in business to pursue the common good.
After the mass, some priests joined labor groups in a boodle lunch symbolizing unity between workers and the Church. (Jandel Posion with reports from Joy Balangitan and Honey Mae Morada)