TACLOBAN CITY – Because of repression and arduous living of farmers in the region, they are forced to work in the city of Tacloban. They take on temporary jobs where some they have to work as much harder as a water buffalo. Such is the case of those laborers at the pier and warehouses.

Catching up to 9 sacks of cement each minute is the worst plight a laborer has to achieve to reach a Php218.00 pay everyday. They get only Php0.80 per sack they load.

“if you have seen black water buffalos in the fields, in the city you will see similar hardworking creatures covered in white. Such is because their whole body is coated with cement from their almost unrested loading,” said Francisco Falguera, ANAKPAWIS-EV spokesperson.

Despite their work beaten bodies, LIPSI does not offer benefits for health security or Medicare, not even for SSS contribution for the laborers. Even though law provides contributions for Medicare and SSS, workers’ low wages was further lessen.

“We are also greatly concerned that we hardly have 5 days sick leave, instead of 15 days, a year. Also, we have this big question on why is our COLA (cost of living allowance) included in our daily wage receipt,” Falguera added.

“After 4 years since 2004, laborers’ wage in warehouses in the city has not yet increased. Instead, there had been a case that it was reduced. If these laborers earned more than their usual pay, that was because there have been more sacks of cement to unload,” ends Falguera.

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