Workers to Aquino: Certify P125 Wage Hike Bill as urgent
LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on Pres. Benigno Aquino today to certify House Bill 375 or the P125 Wage Hike Bill as urgent so that the 15th Congress can pass it before the Christmas break.
The labor group said that while Aquino last Labor Day rejected calls for the passage of the bill, which seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide, workers’ wages have been lagging behind the prices of basic goods and services for years.
KMU also cited the Social Weather Stations’ third-quarter surveys that showed hunger in the country increasing to 21 per cent from 18.4 per cent in the previous quarter, with self-rated poverty remaining high at 47 per cent.
“Now, more than ever, workers need a significant wage hike, such as a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide. Pres. Aquino should certify the P125 Wage Hike Bill as urgent now so that it can be approved before the Christmas break,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
“Pres. Aquino has not provided workers with any form of immediate relief from the soaring prices of basic goods and services. As a result, workers are suffering from worsening hunger and poverty,” he added.
“Experience tells us that Congress is productive only until the December before an election year. Congress should pass the bill immediately,” he said.
KMU once again called on Northern Samar Rep. Emil L. Ong, chairperson of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, to act on the bill, which is awaiting a Luzon-wide consultation before it can be approved at the committee level and submitted to the House plenary for deliberations.
“We are alarmed at the slow pace at which the House Committee on Labor and Employment under Ong’s leadership has been processing this most urgent of bills. It has so far failed to show that it is pro-labor on the crucial issue of significantly increasing workers’ wages,” Soluta said.
“The committee’s leaders told us months ago that the Luzon-wide consultation can be foregone, only to tell us this November that it would still be needed. We have been pressing for the immediate holding of the consultation, but they have so far failed to make arrangements for it,” he added.
The labor center vowed to intensify actions for the passage of the P125 Wage Hike Bill, which was filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano at the start of the 15th Congress.
Progressive partylists have been filing bills that would legislate a P125 across-the-board nationwide wage hike since 2001.
The initiative was led by labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran of partylists Bayan Muna and Anakpawis until his death in 2008.