Caritas Philippines paid tribute on Saturday, May 1 to all Filipino workers and country’s frontliners for their “bravery, courage and selflessness”.
The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) hailed the heroism of country’s workers this Labor Day, also the day when Catholic Church celebrates the national consecration to St. Joseph, the Worker.
“We celebrate with the whole world the bravery, courage and selflessness especially of the Filipino frontline workers who devoted even their lives in the service of those in need,” Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines, said in a statement.
“We owe it to our workers and frontliners even the minimum thread of comfort and safety that we have at a time of pandemic. You so much deserve our salutation and gratitude.”
As the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic rendered 7.3 million Filipinos unemployed, Bagaforo said they were “pushing for dialogues between DOLE, and other government agencies, to tap state resources and technical support not only for job generation, but to create community social enterprises which are more sustainable and empowering.”
Over the last decade, more than 200 community social enterprises were established through the efforts of Caritas Philippines, in collaboration with the Social Action Network.
Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr. expressed their group’s commitment to serve as a “voice” of the country’s workers and those victims of injustice and oppression.
“We not only come with a huge debt of gratitude for your dedication to service, but with a promise to always be the voice of the labor sector, and everyone who needed defense against oppression and injustice,” he said.
In late April this year, Caritas Philippines bared its two-hour, monthly virtual legal counseling program via its Facebook page www.Facebook.com/WeAreCaritas.
Caritas Philippines legal officer Atty. Jehn Louie Velandrez noted that plenty of workers are needing legal assistance and counseling support.
“We are hoping that the online program will be accessible to everyone. This is one of our ways of actually giving back to our Filipino workers.”
Caritas Philippines is the country’s representative to the global confederation of Catholic charities, Caritas Internationalis.