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aug21.2013P125 daily across-the-board salary increase for workers sought

aug21.2013P125 daily across-the-board salary increase for workers sought

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P125 daily across-the-board salary increase for workers sought
P125 daily across-the-board salary increase for workers sought

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Published by: pribhor2 on Aug 21, 2013
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08/21/2013

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AUG.

21, 2013

NR # 3202

P125 daily across-the-board salary increase for workers sought
Lawmakers are pushing for a P125.00 daily across-the-board salary increase in the private sector to help them cope with the rising prices of basic commodities and services. Reps. Fernando Hicap (Party-list, Anakpawis), Neri Colmenares (Party-list, Bayan Muna), Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela), Emmi de Jesus (Party-list, Gabriela), Antonio Tinio (Party-list, ACT Teachers) and James Mark Terry Ridon (Party-list, Kabataan) filed House Bill 253 to give a reprieve to workers and their families who are now experiencing the effects of soaring prices of basic goods, fees for public services and rates of public utilities and the ever-worsening domestic economic crisis in general. “The Filipino labor front is unanimously in agreement that the granting of a substantial, legislated wage increase for workers is just, necessary and urgent amidst the growing hunger and poverty among workers and the poor on the one hand and the growing profit and wealth of an elite few on the other,” Hicap said. Hicap said the continuous erosion of the real value of wages and the weakening purchasing power of the peso have further pressed down wage levels across the country. According to Hicap, the Filipino workers have been urging Congress to enact a legislated wage hike that will uplift their economic situation. Ilagan said while workers’ wages remain pegged to the floor, the government allowed the rising cost of goods and services and constant increases in the rates of public utilities such as fares, water and electricity and oil prices that brought about damaging effects to the people’s livelihood. “The annual wage increases approved and implemented by the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards (RTWPBs) are very meager and far from enough to provide a-much needed economic relief for workers,” Ilagan said. “Wage boards have in fact, served their purpose of sealing the profit margins of employers by implementing very low wage adjustments,” Ilagan added. Citing the Constitution, Ilagan said the State is mandated to alleviate the living conditions of the ordinary Filipino through policies that provide for decent and humane standard of living and improved quality of life, especially of the working class. “The State shall ensure the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production, guarantee the workers’ right to a living wage, and to promote social justice through the adoption of measures calculated to ensure the well-being and economic security of all the

members of the community,” Ilagan said. Under the measure, no wage increase shall be credited in compliance with the increase prescribed herein, unless expressly provided under the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA). If such wage increase was granted in anticipation of the legislated across-the-board wage increase under the proposed act the employer shall pay the difference. The increases shall not include anniversary wage increases, merit wage increases and those resulting from regularization and promotion of employees. The measure shall not reduce any existing allowance and benefit of any form under existing laws, decrees, issuances, executive orders, and any contract or agreements between workers and employers. The bill mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to conduct inspection of the payroll and other financial records kept by the company business to determine whether the workers are paid the prescribed across-the-board increase and other benefits granted by law. Violators face four-year imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 or both at the discretion of the court. If the violation is committed by a corporation, trust or firm, association or any other entity, the penalty of imprisonment shall be imposed upon the entity’s responsible officers, including the president, vice-president, chief executive officer, general manager, managing director or partner. The bill was introduced in the 13 th, 14th and 15th congresses by the late Rep. Crispin ‘Ka Bel’ Beltran of the Anakpawis Party-list. (30) jc

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