Observed every 1st of May, Philippines celebrates Labor Day to pay tribute to working men and women. It is one of the country’s official and legal holidays. But what is the celebration for if the working men and women are in wanting of their wages and benefits?
There are several sectors for the working class like government, private, agriculture, informal etc. One sector that we should take notice of is the parish regular workers. These are the workers who sometimes labor day and night with no extra-pay but amor-en-gratis. They are sometimes underpaid for only those rich parishes can provide for minimum wage and mandated benefits and privileges like 13th month-pay and vacation/sick-leaves. Other than that, everything is up to the generosity and compassion of their boss (parish priest) like sack of rice; groceries; daily allowances, etc. But generosity and compassion are sometimes hard to come by.
These underpaid parish workers cannot go to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) because they understand the financial situation of their parish. But it is worth mentioning that they too should celebrate May 1 as workers. But sometimes, they do not have the time to celebrate because they are in the parish office tending to the needs of the parishioners and sometimes without double-pay. But they are happy doing their job for God and not for themselves.
To the hundreds and thousands parish regular workers Happy Labor Day!