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Philippine workers seek hike in minimum wage amid inflation

Growth has been strong, but workers say rising prices are eroding earnings

Workers scale bars at a construction site in Manila on March 22, 2021.    © AP

MANILA -- In his job as a construction worker, Jerry Gutierrez earns around 600 Philippine pesos ($10.90) a day in Metro Manila and slightly more than half that for projects outside the capital area. On his wages, he and his wife cannot afford a steady supply of household staples like rice and eggs.

His wife, Julie, worked as a domestic helper in Kuwait but came home just before the COVID-19 pandemic because of heart problems. She needs an operation, but says the family needs to pay off debt before they can afford the procedure.

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