. Today is Palm Sunday and, since Catholicism is still big in the Philippines, the Archbishop's message for this special day usually gets played up a lot. I was browsing through this
and the featured headline is about the Archbishop's message. Cardinal Sin (yes, that really is his name) is urging local parishes to make sure that they focus on pro-poor programs this year. He says fighting poverty has become much more crucial because of what transpired in EDSA Tres. Isn't that such a belated realization considering that poverty has been around for ages? That's also a bit rich coming from the Church since it owns a huge chunk of the land in the country. If they haven't seen fit to give these lands to the poor for the past 400 years, I somehow find it hard to believe that they'll serve the poor for real this time.
The four-day work week
. Since January, there's been discussion
of the four-day work week. The government, specifically Tourism Secretary Dick (and he really is) Gordon, is pushing for a longer weekend to encourage local tourism. It seems that the government has temporarily given up hope of attracting foreign tourists because of the perceived
peace and order situation. I say perceived
because, despite all the bad publicity, the Philippines is rather peaceful. I've been living in Manila all my life and I have never been mugged, my purse had never been snatched.
Business groups are complaining because they believe that shortening the work week would only add to the inefficiency of government service. They're also questioning why too much focus is being given to boost tourism. They say tourism isn't everything. The government, on the other hand, explains that local tourism would stimulate the economy--consumers will be spending and even the industries in far-flung places will increase their earnings. I think this makes some sense.
Government workers won't be getting a free cut though. Instead of working for 8 hours a day, they'll be working 10 hours. There's also no assurance that if they get an extra day free, they'll spend it roaming the country.
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