‘Barely enough’: Why workers are asking for P10,000 monthly ‘ayuda’

May 3, 2021 - 4:45 PM
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Labor Day rally
A gathering of labor groups during Labor Day on May 1, 2021 (The STAR/Jesse Bustos)

The call for P10,000 financial aid per month comes from Filipino workers who were severely affected by the still raging coronavirus pandemic.

Workers’ groups and other progressive groups took to the streets to demand the P10,000 aid and another P100 wage subsidy to the government during the Labor’s Day celebration on May 1.

The demonstrations were supposed to take place at Mendiola and Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

However, according to reports, they were stopped by the police who prompted them to relocate to the Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City.

Transport groups also called on authorities to allow more traditional jeepney drivers to resume operations more than a year after they were suspended.

“Panawagan ko sa gobyerno, balik pasada, hanggang sa ngayon hindi pa nakakabiyahe, ano ang gagawin namin?” said Elmer Cordero, a member of transport group Piston-6, in an interview with ABS-CBN.

“Sana ibigay na yang P10,000 na ayuda na yan dahil kaming mga driver at operator naghihirap na sa ngayon, wala na makain,” Cordero added.

Despite the amount still being scant if computed with the other costs of living, some Filipinos denounced the clamor for it.

  • “10k ayuda per month? And this would be coming from us taxpayers. Um, why?” one user said.
  • “Bastat Pilipinong alang mga magawa sa buhay nila kundi ang mag pasaway matigas ang mga ulo ng mga yan pag nag kasakit isisi sa gobyerno samantalang sila ang may gawa,” another social media user said.

Others went as far as accusign them of causing the spikes of coronavirus infections in Metro Manila.

“Di talaga mababawasan ang COVID cases sa NCR gawa ng mga tulad nilang Pilipino na walang alam kungdi isisi sa gobyerno paghihirap nila,” another said.

Not that enough for the poor

The amount of aid the workers were asking for is barely enough following their loss of livelihood due to the worsening economic and health crisis, other Filipinos on social media pointed out.

“The 10K ayuda is no laughing matter if one truly understands where it’s stemming from. It’s frustrating to see posts saying these people are ‘lazy’ rather than informing themselves beforehand why they are in that situation in the first place,” one user said.

“Add to the fact na 10k/hour minimum wage is not enough to live properly especially in Manila. People say ok na sila sa instant noodles everyday, basta makatawid ng gutom. That is not the way to live, and it’s so unhealthy. People need to realize that they deserve better,” another user said.

The issue was also tackled on subreddit r/Philippines. One Reddit user reacted to a comment from a Facebook user who claimed that P10,000 is already hefty for aid from government.

Dami palang paraan kung paano kumita eh, bakit pa siya nag katulong??? from Philippines

Some users also pointed out that the amount is not even close to the benefits given to government officials.

“Makatawa naman mga to sa 10,000 ayuda na panawagan, alam niyo ba magkano allowance ng government officials sa trips nila? Oo pera mo ginagamit nila pampasta and wine,” one user wrote.

The national government was supposed to unveil a Labor Day recovery package that day.

Under the National Employment Recovery Strategy action plan, the package will enable millions of Filipinos to return to work and earn money.