Wednesday, April 27, 2005

NR0427:Congress snubs P125 bill, disregards Labor Day demands

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release April 27, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Congress' indifference and refusal to deliberate on P125 wage hike bill an insult and attack against workers - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran joined House chairman of the Committee on Labor Representative Roseller Barinaga and representatives of Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party in a presscon this morning in Congress to express their deep disappointment and disgust over the House leadership's deliberate refusal to begin plenary debates on HB 345, or the bill legislating a P125 across-the-board wage increase for all workers nationwide.

Beltran said that the House leadership's refusal to table the aforementioned bill was a grave insult and attack against workers all over the country. "Next Sunday is International Labor Day, but Congress has not even begun to hear the sponsorship speeches on the wage hike bill. Speaker Jose de Venecia and Majority Floor Leader Prospero Nograles have yet again reneged on their promise that the House will begin deliberations on HB 345 as soon as the debates on the value-added tax bills were concluded. The deliberate suspension and consequent adjournment of the session last night means is the insulting response of Congress to the demands of workers that the wage hike bill be tackled before Labor Day," he said. Beltran said that it was not possible to deliberate on the wage hike bill today given the visit of the Chinese president.

"It's an outrage that the House rolls out the red carpet and extends itself to welcome visiting foreign dignitaries, but ignores the pleas of Filipino workers and even bans them from expressing their sentiments within the halls of Congress," he said. "

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader said that Malacanang's offer of a wage increase as a gift for workers on Labor Day better be a national legislated wage increase and not an Emergency Cost of Living Allowance (ECOLA) and measly increases through the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards.

"Wage hikes through wage boards or ECOLA are essentially worthless, and they're meant to pacify workers and stay their outrage over the government's refusal to order an actual, substantial wage increase. Workers are calling for a nationwide legislated wage increase that will to some measure bridge the ever-expanding gap between labor's wages and the daily cost of living now pegged over P700 a day a family of six. The real value of the P250 minimum wage in NCR is just P234.44. With the great
disparity between wages and cost of living, it's no short of a miracle that workers and their families still survive the increasing rates of public utility services such as electricity and water, prices of basic goods and other services," he said.

"Malacanang s hould stop beating around the bush and order prioritize an across-the-board wage hike for all workers," he said.

Finally, Beltran said that workers remain steadfast against filing a wage hike petition to the regional wage boards since wage boards are oriented towards weakening labor's demand for higher wages across-the-board. Beltran said that he and other pro-labor, pro-P125 legislators will join the May 1 rallies.He said that workers from all labor unions all over the countrysupport H B 345 and the P125 wage hike campaign.

He said that workers are all set for the major mobilization on Labor Day. Workers and
allied organizations of Kilusang Mayo, Anakpawis, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and other other militant groups will converge at various points in Manila and will hold a protest program at Liwasang Bonifacio.#


Post a Comment

<< Home