LUNAS Partylist first nominee Brian Yamsuan onstage. (PN File Photo)

Lungsod Aasenso (LUNAS) Partylist on Sunday vowed to push for better pay conditions for local musicians and those in the “no work no pay” sector, should they win a seat in the House of Representatives in the upcoming national elections.

During the third anniversary concert of the Palawan Sound Organization (PSO), a local collective of musicians, LUNAS first nominee Brian Yamsuan said that the partylist will advocate for increasing basic pay, institutionalizing night differential payment, and hazard pay for musicians and artists. He explained that workers in this sector are vulnerable because they only earn during special events or through contracted work arrangements.

“Ang pinakaimportante ay maipaglaban natin ang tamang kita para sa kanila. Kasi iba sila eh, iba ‘yong skillset nila. Hindi sila puwedeng minimum wage. Kailangan ‘yong mga nagtatrabaho sa gabi may night differential. Napakaimportante talaga na maisaayos natin yong kanilang mga pay structure para maayos din yong kanilang mga benepisyo,” he said in an interview.

The PSO is one of LUNAS’ local supporters. During the event, performers also encouraged the audience to vote for LUNAS on May 9.

He added that they will also push for a special fund and government benefits for artists who have significant creations and contributions to the sector.

“Dito sa mga local artist na binibigyan natin ng award dito sa Palawan, napakaimportante na bigyan sila ng recognition, at the same time, it’s also fitting for them to have benefits from the government kasi at the end of the day, nag-provide din sila ng kasiyahan sa taumbayan,” he said.

Yamsuan also said during a speech that he hopes the PSO will also hold yearly events to showcase local talents and revitalize the local music industry.

“Kaya dapat itong event ng Palawan Sound Organization hindi dapat isang event lang, dapat ito taon-taon na, para may i-look forward to ang mga local artists ng Palawan,” he added during a speech.

Concertgoers welcome return of live events after pandemic

Meanwhile, PSO’s anniversary concert also brought in audiences of all ages to the City Baywalk with more than 20 acts mostly from Puerto Princesa City. In interviews, concertgoers expressed their happiness to finally enjoy a live outdoor music event.

“Sobrang saya lang na mayroon nang mga ganitong klaseng event, lalo na sa mga music lovers na gustong-gusto na mapanood ang mga ganitong event. Sobrang nakaka-down noong nakalipas na two years, buti na lang nagkaroon ng ganitong event kasi pampa-cope sa mga nakakaranas ng stress at depression dahil laging naka-lockdown,” said Regine, who was watching with a group of female friends.

Another concertgoer, Noreen, said it was the first time she has set foot again at the City Baywalk since the lockdown, and was happy to see other people celebrating and enjoying live music.

“Sobrang saya lang talaga kasi bago lang ako nakabalik dito sa Baywalk after two years,” said Noreen.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.