A Catholic bishop in the central Philippines called for more measures to protect workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge in the country.
In his Labor Day message, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said the government has failed to protect workers’ rights a year into the pandemic.
The prelate also heads the Church People-Workers Solidarity, an apostolate of the Philippine Catholic Church.
“Government apathy and inefficiency has failed to protect workers’ safety and health,” said Bishop Alminaza. “In the guise of ‘reviving the economy,’ workers’ safety and lives are put in jeopardy,” he said.
On May 1, the country’s Department of Health listed 9,226 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total confirmed infections in the country to 1,046,653.
At least 120 have reportedly died, bringing the death toll to 17,354. The Health department also reported 10,809 new recoveries, increasing the total recoveries to 957,051.
The Philippines has the second-most confirmed coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, which has 1.6 million cases.
Bishop Alminaza, meanwhile, said Filipino workers continue to suffer from the “ever-worsening” socio-economic conditions brought about by record high unemployment rate, rising inflation, and lack of income.
He echoed the call of labor organizations for a 100-peso daily wage subsidy to augment the workers’ income, adding that to keep the economy thriving, the government must keep workers “protected.” – with a report from CBCP News