Minimum wage earners in Cebu hopeful of wage hike
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Minimum wage earners in Cebu see hope amidst soaring prices of commodities following the proposal to increase daily minimum wage rates in Central Visayas.
For workers like Joselito dela Cerna and Diolito Federe, raising the minimum wage, regardless of what amount, would be of great help to slightly ease their financial burden.
Dela Cerna and Federe both work in separate stalls at the Pardo Public Market in Barangay Pardo.
“Uyon ko anang increase, uyon ko ana nindot ana mutaas imo sweldo labi na pandemic way kwarta, ang budget nimo gamay ra kaayo unya palitonon mahal kaayo,” said Dela Cerna.
The 35-year-old father of two is also a caretaker of a general merchandise booth at the Pardo Public Market, which he said is still struggling from effects of the recent crises.
“Kuwang ra kaayo pang konsumo, upat kabuok mi sa pamilya kuwang kaayo kwaan pa nimo ug abangan nga dos mil kapin taga sweldo pa nimo minimum kwaan pas SSS, PhilHealth ug Pag-ibig aw wala na ug nay mahabilin kapin libo nlng,” said Dela Cerna.
While he has no dependents to take care of, Federe, also a caretaker of a stall selling rice at the Pardo Public Market, shared the same sentiments with Dela Cerna.
Federe, 27, said increasing their wages is only appropriate, considering the rising prices of basic commodities.
“Once nay increase sa palitonon, kung magpabilin ang among sweldo, kulangaon gyud… Wala koy gibuhi na pamilya, pero kulang gyud,” said Federe.
However, the native of Barangay Pardo admitted that a P430-increase sounded too good to be true.
Nevertheless, he is still hoping that the government would implement wage increase, no matter the amount.
Various labor groups in Central Visayas filed wage hike petitions before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Central Visayas (RTWPB-7) to raise the daily minimum wage rate between P750 to P834.
The current rate in the region is at P404, and was implemented in 2020.
But several leaders from Cebu’s business community cautioned the public sector against abruptly implementing wage adjustments, saying this may only lead to more businesses shutting down and increase unemployment.
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