In the Philippines, the daily minimum wage for laborers is set at only PhP491 (USD9.82), whereas a family of six needs at least PhP1088 per day in order to sustain a decent living. This does not include expenses for education and medical emergencies. The Philippine government, however, continues to fail in its responsibility to provide decent jobs with livable wages to its millions of workers. In fact, according to the government’s own studies, there are more than 6.6 million unemployed Filipinos in the country.

The 2017 May One rally was attended by almost 100,000 workers and labor rights advocates from all over the country. In Manila, 35,000 people filled the Liwasang Bonifacio and Mendiola in front of the presidential palace. This was one of the largest mobilizations of labor rights activists in recent memory, an indication of workers’ rising disenchantment with the government’s broken promises as well as the exploitation laborers continue to experience from the profit-oriented company owners.

 

Photos by Mark Ambay III

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