By NORWIN GONZALES
BAGUIO CITY — In line with a nationwide call for protest, the employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) launched a protest action on February 21, Wednesday. They are demanding a salary increase to “keep up with the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
The increase proposed by the group, led by the Social Work Employees Association of the Philippines – CAR (SWEAP-CAR) is P16,000 monthly for all employees, regulars, contractuals and other subcontracted jobs alike. This amount, according to SWEAP-CAR Spokesperson Jessie Chelim is but measly when put into comparison with the rising prices of goods as an effect of TRAIN.
A normal DSWD employee gets a salary of P12,000 monthly in gross. That will be subjected to the different deductions.
Chelim further questioned why the police and military had already received higher salaries while the rest of government employees are stuck with a low pay.
“Why is it taking so long? We even requested first,” he said.
He added that what SWEAP-CAR is fighting for is a standardized salary across the country which will put all regions at par with one another.
On contractualization in DSWD, the national officials of SWEAP are in active talks with the current officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco to address the employment issues. It can be remembered that these talks began when former Secretary Judy Taguiwalo launched a fight against contractualization.
“So far, we have established a good relationship with the OIC,” Chelim said.
In DSWD-CAR, around 40% of the employees are regulars and contractuals. The rest are employed through other flexible employment policies such as job order (JO), memorandum of agreement (MOA) and cost of service.
The SWEAP-CAR is expected to launch further protests on salary increase and against contractualization. # nordis.net