‘Slavery’: Surigao del Norte electric firm’s lineman hiring earns ire of netizens

February 9, 2023 - 1:34 PM
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Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Surneco)'s advertisement for a contract-based lineman (surneco/Facebook)

A job advertisement for an electrical lineman drew criticism for its pay offer.

The poster was uploaded on Facebook by an electricity provider in Surigao del Norte on February 2. It has since been talked about by several online users.

Based on the post, Surigao Del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Surneco) is urgently looking for a lineman in the village of Del Rosario in Tubod, Surigao del Norte.

A lineman is a professional worker responsible for the power lines of residences and other buildings.

For this position, the assignment will only last for three months. If hired, the lineman will receive P350 per day plus an ECOLA (Emergency Cost of Living Allowance).

Applicants need at least a college degree to qualify. It was also stated that Surneco preferred those with a background in electricity.

Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Surneco)’s advertisement for a contract-based lineman

Several online users found the job offer either amusing or frustrating.

The job ad has garnered 55,000 reactions, 12,000 comments and 28,000 shares on Facebook so far. Of these reactions, 41,000 were laugh reactions, 11,000 were sad reactions and 2,000 were angry reactions.

In the comments section, some Filipinos expressed disbelief over the job advertisement’s legitimacy.

Others, meanwhile, described the job deal as “slavery.”

“This is not employment, this is slavery,” one Facebook user said.

“Slavery at its finest. It’s sickening! One of the reasons why Philippines is still a 3rd world country,” another commented.

Several Filipinos also pointed out that the measly wage is not justifiable for the risks that the job entails.

Others criticized Surneco for its high qualifications but were only willing to shell out P350.

“[Tapos] pag minalas, disgrasya ka pa. Samantalang P350 na yan isang booking lang papuntang Bulakan,” one Facebook user said.

“Buhis buhay tapos 350 lang,” another commented.

“High standards! High qualification! LOW LOW LOW SALARY! Buwis buhay 350 lang?” an online user pointed out.

Surneco’s salary for contract-based linemen is actually compliant with the minimum wage order in the Caraga region. This is being implemented by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

As of June 6, 2022, the minimum daily wage rate of P350 applies in the following industries in the region:

  • Non-agriculture
  • Agriculture
  • Service/Retail establishment
  • Manufacturing

Workers are also entitled to a COLA worth P15 only.