- 1903 – 1st celebration under UODF (Union Obrero Democratica de Filipinas). Thousand of workers marched from Plaza Moriones in Tondo to Malacañang Palace
- 1908 – April 8: The Philippine Assembly passed a bill making the first day of May as a national holiday
- 1974 – Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed the Presidential Decree No. 442 known as the Labor Code of the Philippines
The decree as summarized by Mercedes B. Suleik in his column in PhilStar,
“The decree emphasized that the employer and the employee are on the same workbench, with different functions, but united by their common purpose of efficient production to meet the needs of their fellow citizens. Thus, it is through private initiative that the increase in wealth, which would satisfy the needs of man, could be created. Labor and capital are not opposed, and should cooperate. ”
This is where an employee-employer relationship exists for a purpose to unite and meet the needs of the citizens where labor and capital work hand in hand.
The purpose of the Labor Code is to protect the rights of the employees and set what would be the employers’ obligations and responsibilities. The law functions to provide equal opportunity for every Filipino and pay. Not only that but also the physical and mental well-being which should the employers be able to promote safety and workplace diversity.
I am beyond blessed to have work in a company where all of these exists – a purpose, opportunity, safety, and diverse workplace.
Not only is Labor day in the Philippines a secular observation but also religious.
May 1 is celebrated as the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. It was Pope Pius XII who established the Feast as a counter celebration to the communist’s May Day and sought to affirm the worker’s rights and St. Joseph as the supreme model.
Here’s a powerful prayer to St. Joseph the worker that will help you utilize your talents and turning your daily work into something God would love to see.
“O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.”