Minimum wage earners: Thanks for the P13 hike, but it is still not enough
Michael Vencynth H. Braga (The Freeman) - October 8, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Thirty-one-year-old “Bing” (not her real name) from Minglanilla town has been striving for her family needs by working as a saleswoman in a department store in downtown Cebu City for 10 years now.

She is usually left with around P3,500 as disposable income every pay day after her salary has been subjected to statutory deductions, such as Social Security System (SSS) and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) contributions.

Every month, she also pays an average of P1,300 to P1,500 for electricity bill and P300 for water.

Her husband who also earns the same income, however, contributes for the family expenses, including the education of their son who is now in the first grade in a public school and for their daily needs.

She shared with The FREEMAN that both of them would be left with at least P300 a month, sometimes nothing.

“Kung wa na’y mahabilin, mapugos gyod mi og pangutang,” she said.

Bing is among the minimum wage earners in Metro Cebu who get to benefit from the P13 per day wage hike.

But Bing said the wage adjustment is still not significant enough, considering the daily expenses her family has to meet. She, however, is thankful that the increase would defray her fare since she takes two rides of jeepney when reporting to work six times a week, spending P35 back and forth daily.

The current minimum jeepney fare is P7.

The same situation is also experienced by security guard “Fred” of another department store.

He said he had to contain his meager average income of P3,500 in every pay day for his family’s daily needs, including that of his three-year old daughter. His wife is also working in a warehouse and earning the same minimum wage.

Fred also has to pay for their rented house in Talisay City, including electricity and water.

In order to save, he rides his bicycle to and from home.

“Kung ako pasulti-on sir, di pa g’yud na igo ang P13,” he said.

The P13 wage adjustment has been receiving aversion from different labor groups contending that the amount is really not enough.

Living Wage Coalition filed for a minimum wage adjustment of P145 daily while ALU-TUCP filed for an increase of P92 per day for all the workers in Central Visayas.

ALU-TUCP earlier said that it filed this wage adjustment not because it wants companies to go bankrupt but to let minimum wage earners get decent wages and afford a decent life.

But business associations such as the Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter, Inc., represented by its president Robert Go, earlier opposed to the wage increase, saying the increasing wage will benefit only a few and keep majority out of jobs, while the unskilled majority will never get hired and will remain jobless. — /NSA (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BUT BING CEBU CITY CENTRAL VISAYAS HOME DEVELOPMENT MUTUAL FUND LIVING WAGE COALITION METRO CEBU PHILIPPINE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION CEBU CHAPTER ROBERT GO SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM WAGE
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