“We suffer when our parents have no work”

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/02 May) — Fifteen year old Lito of Bukidnon joined his parents in the Labor Day march here last Friday to express how children suffer when their parents suffer from low wages and lack of job security.

“I am here with my parents because children also suffer when our parents do not have work. My father keeps on jumping from one job to another and what he receives can’t even sustain our family. As a result, all of us – our mother and my siblings — try our best to work as well to help,” Lito said.

Lito and his parents joined some 2,500 protesters from the different parts of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental in the march to commemorate Labor Day.

“Our activity is for the interest of our workers, we are gathering here to signify our intention for balanced labor practices. The rallies are staged simultaneously all over the Philippines. Ask and demand from our government to act on the rights of our workers, wage increase and also the problem on the never ending increase of basic commodities and public utilities,” Joel Maglungsod, Kilusang Mayo Uno vice president for political affairs, said.

Maglungsod reiterated that the government headed by President Benigno Aquino III has a lot of labor issues that need to be addressed.

“Now we have 12.1 million Filipino people who are unemployed or underemployed and more people are working without security of tenure due to contractualization. Our workers are shouting for 16,000 pesos across the board minimum wage both public and private,” said Manglunsod.

Wildon Barrios, KMU chairp in Nothern Mindanao pointed out the need for government to attend to the wage problem in Region 10.

“The nominal wage of workers here in region 10 is around 279 to 306 a day while our inflation has pushed up the family living wage at 1,086 per day for a family of around four to six while prices of basic goods and services had been continuing to increase,” said Barrios.

“There are other sectors in the service in malls, restaurants, banks, hotels, hospitals, media, call centers and others. There is also in construction sector that aside from being dangerous, the given salaries from the contractors are very low and don’t have benefits,” he added.

Barrios said 38.1 million are employed from out of 63.9 million-labor force. The rest are either jobless of unemployed, he said. (Erwin Mascarinas / MindaNews)