February 24, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — In posts in their websites, the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Anakpawis partylist said that the claimed study of three wage boards in Luzon and Visayas is an insult to the workers.
The Regional wage boards in Zamboanga and Eastern Visayas said they are studying a possible minimum wage hike of P50 wage increase while P100 in the Western Visayas. This they claimed is to help the workers cope with the rising prices.
KMU National Chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog said that the Filipino workers as well as the people have long been suffering from the economic crisis while the wage boards and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have ignored the workers’ demand for a P125 wage increase for a long time.
“It is therefore highly suspicious that they are trying to show off only now that Arroyo’s term is about to end,” Labog said.
Years ago, the late Anakpawis representative Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran together with Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna Partylist and Liza Maza of Gabriela Partylist filed House Bill 1722 in the Congress which asks for a legislated P125 wage increase in the country.
Labog said that the regional wage boards were established in 1989 by the administration of the late Corazon Aquino purposedly to prevent wage increases at the national level. These, Labog added, is to give only pegged and minimal increases in worker’s wages in every region and create divisiveness among the Filipino workers.
The labor leader said that the wages in Metro Manila were increased only 16 times since the establishment of the wage boards with only P26 as the highest amount after protests by the workers and the people. He said that after two decades of the wage boards existence, the real minimum wage in Metro Manila is merely P240 while the daily cost of living is P920.
Here in the Cordillera, the minimum wage is P260 while the actual cost of living is P942 for a family with six members.
Meanwhile, Anakpawis representative Joel Maglunsod said that it is obvious that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is trying hard to make her name fragrant before her term ends. Maglunsod said she knows how furious the workers and people have become for her destruction of lives and livelihood.
“For two years, since a P20 increase in Metro Manila was granted in June 2008, we have not received even a slight increase from Arroyo. Since then, the prices of various commodities have steadily climbed, joblessness has worsened, and attacks on regular work have intensified,” Maglunsod stated. The representative added that the prices of oil and sugar have tripled and rice has doubled since Arroyo became president of the country.
Labog said that it still a legislated, national and significant wage increase that workers should unite to fight for.# nordis.net