MANILA, Philippines — In time for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA), groups launched the #BentePesosChallenge campaign to call for an increase in the minimum wage amid the rising prices of goods.
Organizations representing marginalized sectors under the #CourageON: No Lockdown on Rights Coalition including Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, Ecumenical Voice PH, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement, K4 Kilos na para sa Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, at Karapatan, LILAK, among others started the initiative to showcase what Filipinos can afford to buy with P20.
With the hashtag #BentePesosChallenge, various citizens joined in and posted their entries on Facebook.
Some entries expressed how the alarming rise in prices should be addressed and prioritized, especially in the upcoming SONA.
“Sa bente, ang aabutin ay ang kapos na pagkamit ng basehang pangangailangan. Tumataas ang presyo ng bilihin. Dumarami [ang] walang trabaho. Kung mayroon man, ay ’di man lamang umaabot sa minimum wage sa gitna ng kahilingan na living wage,” Norma Dollaga stated in her post after purchasing a half kilo of calamansi with the given amount.
(We barely meet our basic necessities for 20 pesos. Commodity prices are increasing. Many are unemployed – and if they are employed, do not even reach the minimum wage amid the demand for a living wage.)
“Sa SONA, ano ang fighting demands ng mga tao?! Wakasan ang krisis, tiyakin ang panlipunang katarungan… Kung may gobyernong tapat at mapagmalasakit, uunahin nito ang kagalingan ng madla at hindi ang kapakanan ng oligarkiya,” Dollaga added.
(For SONA, what are the fighting demands of the people? End the crisis, make sure that there is public justice…If there is such a thing as a loyal and serving government, it will prioritize the welfare of the masses, not the interest of oligarchs.)
“Inflation is making life so difficult! Where is the P20 bigas?” Rebecca Lawson shared in her post.
Other citizens also amplified their calls by turning their posts into creative executions such poems, vlogs, and Tiktok videos.
@sinecaito So Paano Na? #BentePesosChallenge #bentepesosbigas #bentepesos #unity #SONA2022 #uniteambbmsara2022 ♬ original sound – NecaBanana
Interested to join? Be part of the campaign by posting your photos and videos of P20-worth of purchased items. Let us know your takeaways on your entries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok with the hashtag #BentePesosChallenge.