MANILA — The Promotion of Church Peoples Response sponsored a special mass for the workers at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.
The mass was celebrated by Most. Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez Jr. DD as the main celebrant, Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, Rev. Fr. Ric Valencia and Rev. Fr. Alex Abriera of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene; Rev. Fr. Pete Montallana, OFM; Rev. Fr. Ruben Maybuena from the Diocese of Kalookan; Rev. Fr.Lauro Mozo, MSC; Rev. Fr. Francisco Albano of the Diocese of Ilagan; Rev. Fr. Jesus Dumaual, MSC; Rev. Fr.Valentin Narcise, CICM; Rev. Fr.Greg Obejas, OSM; Rev. Fr. Oliver Estor, SOLT; Norman Soriano, MJ; Rev. Fr. John Leydon, MSSC; Rev. Fr. Francis Tasio, SMM; Rev. Fr. Delfo Canseran, OP; Rev. Fr. Joe Dizon; Rev. Fr.Raymund Urizza, CSsR; Rev. Fr. Jing Alea, CSsR; Rev. Fr. Jojie Balindon, MSC; and Rev. Fr. Goni Apales, ESHT.
After the mass, they joined workers and leaders of the Kilusang Mayo Uno led by KMU national vice chair Lito Ustarez in a Church People – Workers Solidarity Lunch at Plaza Miranda.
In his Labor Day message, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio G. Tagle reminded Filipinos that the Church teaches how workers are “more important than capital or profit.”
“People or workers are the most important part of any business. They are the ones who are responsible for the growth and development of the material or financial aspect of any business or production. The development of a business’ finances is important, but by no means should this ever be a reason to exploit or take advantage of workers. It is through the wrong use or appreciation of capital and profit that businesses destroy the dignity of workers and their families and the rest of society. The Church calls on Filipinos to always respect the dignity of workers,” Tagle said.
PCPR secretary-general Nardy Sabino, for his part, criticized the government’s labor contractualization policy, saying it is a policy that keeps workers poor and exacerbates their exploitation.
“The difficulties of the workers are further worsened through legal means of exploitation in the form of labor contractualization. Under this policy, workers have no security of tenure and are not entitled to any benefits and the capitalists all the more violate the rights of the workers in organizing themselves as union. The poor quality of life of workers and their families contradicts with the Church’s teaching of social justice,” Sabino said.
The group said that it fully supports the call of the KMU for a P125 across-the-board wage hike and for the scrapping of t labor contractualization and other labor flexibility schemes.