"DOLE Secretary Baldoz's statement today that there is no valid reason to grant another round of salary increase for minimum wage earners smacks of insensitivity, and even callousness. I challenge Baldoz to make her family survive on P404 a day for a month, so that she herself will find in practice this valid reason that she seems to be looking for elsewhere," chided Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
"There is no more valid reason than the fact that a family of six people needs at least P900 a day to live decently. Workers are barely able to make ends meet with the level of mnimum wage offered them. They are forced to seek loans with very high interests, such that each payday is not a day to rejoice as far as they are concerned. Their pay money does not even get warm enough in their hands before it has to be given out to pay for all their loans and overdue rent and bills. The working mother or a worker's wife is hardly able to balance the budget to ensure there is food on the table, children have money for baon or school project expenses," further explained the Gabriela solon.
"The workers' dire conditions of questionable survivability should be everyone's concerns, including Secretary Baldoz's and the members of the House Committee on Labor. I call on my colleagues to heed our workers' plea for alleviation of their living conditions by hastening the process of deliberations on House Bill 375 calling for a nationwide, across-the-board legislated wage hike. A nod of approval on third reading from Congress on this bill before December 15 is the best Christmas gift we can offer our workers amidst this period of darkness and crisis for them," the Gabriela solon ended. Rowena Festin, Media Relations Staff, Office of Representative Emmi De Jesus, Gabriela Women’s Party