Sunday, April 24, 2005

NR0421 :Yes to wage hike, no to fare hike

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release April 21, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Countdown to Labor Day begins; Congress should deliberate
and pass P125 wage hike bill by May 1st

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang's hints regarding a wage hike coupled with a fare hike is an insult to workers and the public. "A substantial, across-the-board wage increase that isn't going to be passed through the notorious regional wage boards is very welcome; but a fare hike is most certainly not," he said.

"This is a no-win situation for workers and the rest of the public. Any wage increase that is less than P125 a day will mean very little given that oil prices continue to rise, pulling in their wake the prices of basic commodities and rates of social services including transportation. Pres. Arroyo should order both Houses of Congress to immediately legislate a P125 across-the-board wage increase before May 1, and put is foot down against any new oil price hike," he said.

"The major transport groups and consumer formations are not angling for a fare hike - primary among their demands is the junking of the oil deregulation law and the buy-back of Petron. These are demands Malacanang can easily meet if only it will assert its will in favor of consumers and the public good. We have all seen what Pres. Arroyo is capable of when she pushes hard enough: she has alternately bullied and cajoled the senate and congress into railroading her tax measures within the shortest possible time," he said.

Beltran urged House Speaker Jose de Venecia and House Majority Floor Leader Prospero Nograles to immediately table HB 345 or the bill legislating a P125 across-the-board wage hike on the next session day, April 25. "There's less than two weeks to May 1st, and workers are agitating for much needed economic relief. Congress has bypassed the P125 wage hike bill for the longest time, putting it on the backburner. Speaker de Venecia should listen to the clamor of the nation's laborers and have the House approve the P125 wage hike bill at the soonest possible time," he said.

Beltran said that last week's transport strike was merely the icing on the bitter cake labor and transport groups want to feed the administration. "Bigger protests are up ahead and they're all directed against the administration's regressive tax and other economic measures. Social conflict is inevitable because Malacanang and its allies are pushing the Filipino people against the wall. This Labor Day will witness one of the biggest anti-GMA protests this year . The administration should not be surprised and should even expect this - it has done very little or even nothing to alleviate the people's constantly worsening poverty," he said. #


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