Monday, November 5, 2018

Bishops say workers in Metro Manila deserve more than P25 wage increase





Composite photo of Bishops Broderick Pabillo and Honesto Ongtioco from Manila Bulletin and ABS CBN



Manila, Philippines – The government has approved the P25 hike in the daily salary of minimum wage workers in the National Capital Region (NCR), an increase which includes a P10 cost of living allowance (COLA), as reported on Monday.

The salary adjustment was announced by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III at a press conference, saying the new daily minimum wage would be P537 from P500.

P25 increase too small



Though this is good news to some, two Metropolitan Catholic Prelates, on the other hand believe that Metro Manila workers deserve more than a P25 wage increase.

Bishops Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao and Broderick Pabillo of Manila said the said amount is measly amid the rise in the prices of goods and commodities.

“I believe our ordinary workers deserve to receive more,” said the Bishop of Cubao in an interview.

“P25 is really a measly amount. It cannot cover the cost of the rise of prices,” Pabillo said.

Ongtioco hopes that the government will reconsider the amount. Under the law, wage orders may be appealed by the petitioner within 10 days after the publication of the decision.

“I hope and pray that our government agencies and officials will reconsider the possibility of a bigger increase,” he said.

Injustice, unjust

Meanwhile, Labor Groups also slammed the P25 salary increase granted to minimum wage earners in Metro Manila, calling it an “injustice” to the workers.

ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay called the basic pay increase unjust.

“For us, it is not fair because the economy is growing, businesses are expanding and more profits are coming in. A P25 wage increase is not acceptable. This is a great injustice to the workers who helped build the business, this is injustice for workers who helped build our economy grow,”
Tanjusay said in an interview on ANC.*

While, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino Chair Leody de Guzman, described the salary increase as  “contemptibly unreasonable.”

“The order of the NCR wage board, which was openly supported [by] DOLE Secretary Bello did not lift minimum wages from starvation levels. Hence, it is a death warrant for four million working class families, who would have to wait for another year for the next round of wage orders,” De Guzman said.

“Their order condemned us to another year of misery amid forecasts of continuing price hikes and economic slowdown in the coming year.” He added

ALU-TUCP said it would file another wage increase petition, while BMP said that it would hold protest actions to push for price control during the yuletide season.

Opposition senator Bam Aquino pointed out that wage increase for Metro Manila workers should be paired with efforts to suspend excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.   


ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay / photo from Panay News