01 April 2011
This was how multisectoral alliance Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan reacted today to Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s statement that his government will call on the regional wage boards to implement a wage hike should the inflation rate reach 5%.
“Perhaps the president is spending much of his time talking to big capitalists in his palaces in Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita and riding his Porsche. Waiting for a 5% inflation rate before pushing for a wage hike shows just how far removed Noynoy is from the reality of the Filipino workers and people,” said Larry Tan, KPMM spokesperson and vice-chairperson of the National Food Authority Employees’ Association.
“For more than 10 years, workers have not had a ‘one-time big-time’ wage hike, while the prices of basic commodities have all gone up, fares for both buses and jeepneys have increased, and oil prices have continued to rise unabated. The government should find out the real situation of workers’ dinner tables and listen to the calls of the Filipino workers and people beyond what statistics say,” Tan added.
KPMM also slammed Pres. Aquino for relying on the country’s regional wage boards for increasing workers’ wages, saying these have not provided genuine relief to the Filipino workers and people.
“The one-decade record of the country’s regional wage boards is there for everybody to see: they have not approved any wage increase higher than P35.00 and have only added insult to the injury of poverty and hunger. Workers are calling for a significant wage hike, something the country’s regional wage boards cannot provide,” Tan said.
“If Pres. Aquino is really sincere in giving private-sector workers a significant wage hike, he should certify as urgent House Bill 375, filed by Anakpawis Rep. Rafael V. Mariano, which seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage increase. We believe that it is only through a legislated wage hike that workers stand the chance of receiving a significant wage increase,” he added.