11 August 2019 – MANY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A MINIMUM WAGE OF P537 PER DAY MEANS. We could have more friends and allies in the community if we reached out and raised awareness about our labor and social advocacies. [Read more]

Published by NTUCPHL Date posted on August 19, 2019

11 August 2019 – MANY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A MINIMUM WAGE OF P537 PER DAY MEANS. We could have more friends and allies in the community for labor advocacies if we reached out, even in informal ways, and raised better awareness about our labor and social advocacies. [Read more]

My dear women friends did not realize P537 was the minimum wage in Manila. “How much is that monthly?” I grabbed a napkin, made computations, and held it out for them to see that P537 for 25 days work means P13,425 monthly. Not even enough to pay for one of their branded bags, I said. They were appalled by the low figure. “How could anyone live on that?” “With the prices these days …”

I told them that is the minimum in Manila, that other regional wages could be half that “low” Manila wage. And their eyebrows reached the ceiling.

The service persons came with the soup, but they couldn’t be bothered with their new-found ‘activism’. They, not the usual inquisitive me, asked the service persons how much they receive, if they have overtime pay, if their wages were enough …

That was at dinner with five women friends last night at a new middle-level restaurant in a name mall along EDSA. Two were about to celebrate their birthdays, and were going about their customary rounds of treating close friends. I was the only male, but that story could be told another time.

i felt chastised while eating my pasta (run-of-the mill if you ask me). Our efforts in the trade unions haven’t reached more people who could be sympathetic, even actively supportive, of what we are fighting for, in their own ways. How sad that all these socially-aware women and many others aren’t brought into the conversation.

I have shunned social life for some time, convincing myself that that gets in the way of my apostolate. I realized I was neglecting I have friends and associates out there who deserve better information about how things are.

I think I will join more dinners with my friends. Especially those who are fond of selfies.

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