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KMU condemns Drilon for opposing legislated wage hike

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed Sen. Franklin Drilon today for opposing the legislation of a wage hike, saying the senator is in effect agreeing with meager wage hikes and shutting doors to a significant wage increase.

While saying that workers need a wage hike, Drilon said that senators do not have the “expertise” to determine wage increases and that the matter should be left to the country’s regional wage boards.

“Sen. Drilon is in effect opposing a significant wage increase for workers and a genuine relief from soaring prices. It is only through legislation that workers have the chance of getting a significant, as opposed to meager, wage increase,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“The only expertise which wage boards possess is the expertise to press down the real value of workers’ wages. The wage hikes that wage boards have approved are too meager compared with increases in the prices of basic goods and services, and do not bring wages nearer to a living wage,” he added.

KMU said the highest wage increase approved by the country’s Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards since 1989 is a mere P33.00, far from what workers need now.

“Sen. Drilon, who was secretary of labor under former Pres. Cory Aquino, is just continuing his long record of being anti-labor. We expect him to become even more anti-labor now that he is closely allied with Pres. Noynoy Aquino, who is showing only callousness towards the plight of workers,” he said.

KMU also cited a recent study released by independent think-tank Ibon Foundation showing that wages increased by a mere 45% while prices increased by 62% in the period 2001-2011.

“The only expertise that should prevail now is the expertise of workers and poor people who know how hunger and poverty daily and even hourly. Regional wage boards were created in the first place to refuse to listen to this kind of expertise,” Labog said.

“For more than nine years under the Arroyo regime and more than one year under the Aquino regime, workers have not received a significant wage hike. Now, more than ever, workers need a significant wage hike such as a P125 across-the-board nationwide wage increase,” he added.

The labor center called on the country’s legislators to immediately pass House Bill 375 or the P125 Wage Hike Bill filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano, which seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.

Reference Person: 
Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 
0908-1636597

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