I am a mom of two beautiful girls aged eight and four. Soon, I will be turning 37. As time flew fast, sometimes unnoticed, i count the turn of time seeing how my kids grow and start to learn the intricacies of life. A toddler’s hug, a kid’s caress – all from the little hands of my little ones are giving me hope each day.
The oozing joy of my motherhood started when my first baby grasped my forefinger as i caressed her tiny hands. It tells me “Nanay, i must cling on to you because I am still a baby”. Later, as my second child turned 4, her playful hug as i tickle her in the morning gave me a feeling of togetherness and a love locked between a mother and child.
Life is indeed full of struggles. And as I struggle each day to fulfil the task of life, a touch of hope always radiates from the little hands of my precious daughters.
I witnessed the plight of ordinary women, some striving to survive for a dollar each day in my country, far from the United Nations recommendation of a decent earning of at least $2 a day per person. Their strength to work does not solely come from their frail and tired hands as they labor but from their love to raise their children.
A country like mine who barely gives adequate social services like education and health pushed the majority of mothers to toil and labor even for a meager amount to meet the daily subsistence. Recently, the government pegged the daily poverty threshold at P46.00 (or a few cents more than $1). This figure drastically reduced the number of poor Fiilipinos. But it painted an untrue face of poverty in my country. How can one survive with P46 a day when prices of basic goods continue to rise? How can a working mother feed her kids, send them to school, clothe them and meet their medical needs with this too unrealistic figure?
The Philippine government data says that a family of 6 in our region needs at least P680 each day to live decently. But its minimum wage is only pegged at P265 per day! What a disparity! These figures are truly irreconcilable.
I asked myself, “Is there hope for the thousands of labourers from my country to enjoy a decent and substantial wage and salary?”
Every time the little hands touched my face and hugged me tightly, hope radiates. I will not only work to earn and feed my family. I will and must work to pursue my conviction that something must be done to give what is due to the marginalized and deprived.
Meaningful legislation for a substantial wage and salary increase must be pushed in my country’s legislative body. This the reason why a progressive partylist filed House Bill No. 375 seeking for P125.00 daily across-the-board increase in the salary of workers.
There is a ray of hope as I clinch and raise up my right fist and join the call for a substantial wage increase. I am not doing this for myself but for my children and other millions of children in my country – that they may not be deprived of a decent living.
My kids’ little hands, my toiling hands, our struggling hands – beautiful hands joined together for a brighter future ahead. #