Instead of the spirit of celebration and the expressions of gratitude, Labor Day in the country is once again an occasion for dissent and discontent. And rightly so. Millions of Filipinos precisely suffer from joblessness. The other millions of workers receive starvation salaries. The rest of the million Filipinos have to leave their homes and families in order to find work abroad. This understandably makes labor day in the Philippines an occasion for grievance and resentment—as it has been specially since the unfortunate advent of the present administration.
The significance of human labor is squarely premised on three distinct realities:
· It affirms human dignity. Joblessness eats up the self-esteem of individuals capable, willing and eager to work but work there is none.
· It provides for the standard needs of families which in this country is an extended reality specially in favor of the elderly and the sick.
· It contributes to the economic development of the community, the society to the country as a whole on account of the social dimension of the fruits of labor.
Contrary to those who consider labor and look at laborers as but a good or bad business concern, an issue of little or big capital earnings, human labor dignifies the laborer, supports home requirements, and ultimately contributes to socio-economic development.
It would be good for those who wield power and influence, who wallow in wealth and capital potentials, to pause every now and then and think how jobless people feel. Let them every now and then look at thousands of job-seekers each of them infallibly clutching a Manila envelope, everyone of them patiently waiting in long lines, and most of them eventually going back home to their families empty handed.
As the national leadership indulges its visionary projections and glorious achievements, all base socio-economic inquiries say exactly the opposite. There is little food on the family tables. There is less education for the children. There is more death among the sick. There are meager social services. The government financial statistics are impressive, socio-human conditions however are depressive.
So much Vat and E-Vat for the government yet so meager welfare services for the citizens. So many leadership promises of abundant times ahead but millions of Filipinos live a difficult present while facing a dismal future. Someone must be lying to the people, cheating the country, stealing public funds.
1 May 2007