‘Where would you go with P10?’

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An official of the Catholic Church lamented the move of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for a P10 wage hike for minimum earners in National Capital Region (NCR).

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Lingayen-Dagupan, Ret. Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said that the government should balance wage increase for laborers with expenses and prices of the basic commodities in the country.

“The prices of basic commodities all went up, but the wage hike . . . only P10? Where would you go with this?” he said.

Also Cruz slammed the government with its report that the economy in the country is “booming,” adding that the truth saddened him, seeing the increasing number of illegal settlers, increasing number of unemployed and the undying corruption among government officials.

“The P10-increase is just nothing,” he added.

Further the bishop criticized the government, saying that the “alms” allotted to the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries are much bigger than the P10-wage hike for minimum earners in NCR.

On Friday, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board of the National Capita Region (RTWPB-NCR) decided to increase the minimum wage by P10 a day upon the effectivity of the wage order.

The P10-wage hike will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation, wherein the minimum earners will now receive P466 daily.

“The RTWPB-NCR also decided to integrate P15 of the existing P30-Cost of Living Allowance [COLA] under RTWPB-NCR Wage Order 17 into the basic wage effective 1 January 2014. This will bring the new basic wage to P451 and the new minimum wage to P466,” Baldoz added.

Meanwhile, the prelate backed the clamors of some labor groups in the country, saying that he understands the laborers citing the high demands in the country.

On September 10, (On Tuesday) hundreds of laborers from the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) movement rallied in front of the DOLE yelling their grievances saying that the P10-wage hike is not enough.

“If the Aquino government thinks that this wage adjustment will stem mounting anger over the pork barrel system, then it is grossly mistaken. This meager wage hike only further inflames the outrage that workers and the poor feel over the gross inequality in the country,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chair.

“We get only a small section of the value we create through our hard work, while politicians are able to steal a huge amount from our taxes. Big capitalists and big politicians act like we are of no value, that’s why we are fighting back to assert our dignity,” he added.

“This wage adjustment is not even enough to cover increases in the prices of basic commodities and the rates of basic services this month. It does nothing to offset the government’s decades-long refusal to implement a significant wage hike amidst soaring prices,” he disclosed.

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