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Palace hopes P30 wage hike will be of help to NCR workers; lawmaker says not enough

May 18, 2012 3:41pm
Malacañang on Friday expressed hope the P30 daily wage hike would be of help to Metro Manila workers, but a militant party-list representative and labor group believed the salary adjustment is still not enough.

“The P20 we hope will be of help to our workers, yes, in NCR,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said at a press briefing. She was referring to the first tranche of the wage increase to be implemented 15 days after the wage order was published.

The remaining P10 will come after six months.

Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, in a press statement, said he will still pursue the legislation of the P125 across-the-board daily wage hike for workers in the private sector despite the P30 wage increase approved by the National Capital Region wage board.

“We need to bridge the wide gap between the wages of workers nationwide and the rising cost of living. That can be achieved only through a national legislated wage increase,” said Mariano who authored House Bill 375 or the P125 wage hike bill.

He said the P30 wage hike only doused the strong demand of workers for a national legislated wage increase.

“But workers won’t be appeased by this inadequate ‘increase.’ “Maliit na nga, hulugan pa. It’s far from enough,” said Mariano.

He said the P30 is only equivalent to a loaf of bread or 2 cans of sardines or 3 packs of noodles.”

The Family Living Wage in the National Capital Region is P988, according to a study by independent think-tank IBON in April 2011.

Mariano said he expects the House Committee on Labor and Employment to issue a committee report on House Bill 375 as soon as possible.

“The wage hike bill must be deliberated at the plenary level before Congress goes on recess on June 7,” he said.

Meanwhile , the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) labor group said the wage increase is still too meager to be of significant help to workers.

“It does not do much to help workers and their families to cope with increases in the prices of basic goods and services and in the payments for public utilities,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, in a press statement.

Barya na nga, tiningi pa. This is an added insult to workers and their families,” he added.

He said the wage increase is another proof of the failure of the country’s wage boards to grant a significant wage increase and move current wages closer to a decent level.

“We vow to heighten our protests in the coming weeks. We shall intensify our struggle for the passage of the P125 Wage Hike Bill,” he said.

KMU is calling for a march to Mendiola this coming May 30 to condemn the Aquino administration's refusal to increase workers’ wages by a significant amount. — LBG, GMA News
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