Monday, April 17, 2006

Beltran to fellow solons: bat for wage hike bill first

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran

Reference : Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080

Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006

Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:



April 17, 2006

With Labor Day only two weeks away
Beltran to fellow solons: bat for wage hike bill first

Congress would be better off getting down to serious work on the P125 wage hike bill for workers when plenary sessions open on May 14, before drumming up enabling laws for the Palace's initiatives for Charter Change and Pres. Arroyo's controversial commutation of the death penalty, veteran labor legislator Cong. Crispin Beltran said today.

Beltran renewed his call for the prioritization of House Bill (HB) 0345 as its principal author as May 1, International Labor Day, nears in around two weeks.

The illegally-detained solon expressed apprehensions that "the 13th Congress might close without having passed the long-awaited and landmark HB 0345, which will legislate a P125 across-the-board nationwide wage increase for workers in the private sector".

"Instead of scurrying to concoct enabling laws for the Palace's sudden ploys at political expediency and survival, such as the commutation of the death penalty and Charter Change, instead of railroading clearly anti-people and downright draconian legislation such as the Anti-Terror Bill, I believe that the Lower House should return its focus on long-clamoured for laws that will provide immediate economic relief for our toiling masses at this time of political and economic crisis," Beltran said.

"The conditions necessitating these long-needed wage hikes have not changed, and in fact, have worsened. The disparity between the daily minimum wage of P325 and the daily costs of living of at least P681 for the poor continue to increase every day. After registering record-high levels of hunger during surveys for the first quarter of 2006, this country is nearing record-levels of unemployment," Beltran.

Beltran said that his "illegal arrest and detention, along with the devious machinations of the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police (PNP), have made it virtually impossible for me to personally lobby for such legislation".

Arrested without a warrant and charged with sedition and rebellion since February 25, Beltran remains in police custody at the PNP General Hospital (GH). This has caused Beltran's forced absence from Congress plenary sessions since February 27, where he and other pro-labor congressmen planned to exert more lobbying efforts towards the passage of HB 0345.

"It will be another slap in the face for our nation's toiling masses when the 13th Congress closes without having passed laws which will finally concretize the government's support for the six-year nationwide clamor for a P125 across-the-board wage increase for workers in the private sector and the P3,000 across-the-board monthly salary and pay increase for government employees,." Beltran said. ###


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