Sunday, June 04, 2006

Don't blame wage hike for economic crisis, Beltran tells business

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:
URL: http://

June 5, 2006

Beltran warns Palace, business against killing P125 wage hike initiative:

Don't blame wage hike for economic crisis, Beltran tells business

Businessmen are barking up on the wrong tree by predicting an economic melt-down if the P125 legislated wage hike (House Bill 0345) passes into law, Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran said today.

"The local employers should not be blaming wage hikes for the economic crisis. The problem is not with the wage hikes needed by the workers sector. The problem is with the Arroyo administration's lack of adequate support mechanisms and policies for the protection and development of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and national industries," Beltran said.

"The Palace has done virtually nothing to protect local industries from being swallowed up whole by foreign imports and by massive foreign corporations. It is putting local industries in peril by opening and selling the country through virtual foreign domination, which is also why many businesses are closing shop and retrenching workers andleaving them poorer than ever. It is precisely this sorry state of the Philippine economy that gives the majority no other choice but to buy cheaper foreign imports, instead of patronizing local goods and contributing to the local economy," Beltran said while confined at the Philippine Heart Center.

Killing the bill will only cause more people to reject GMA, Ka Bel says

Killing the P125 legislated wage hike bill will only force more poor Filipinos to kick the Arroyo administration out of commission once and for all, Beltran underscored. "This will be the final straw for millions of Filipino workers and their families, who are counting on the P125 legislated wage hike for temporary economic relief. The people will be holding the Palace even more accountable for the hunger, sickness, and despair that they have to face every day," the veteran labor leader said.

"It's obvious to all how Pres. Arroyo is bending over backwards and sidewards to kowtow to the demands of foreign investors and businessmen, but refuses to budge an inch when it comes to protecting the interests of suffering workers and peasants," he said.

Beltran also cast doubts on the effectivity of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to effect a nationwide wage increase acceptable to Filipino workers.

"These wage boards are slow-pokes and misers, if we are to judge by their track record of giving wage increases. Workers and their families will only die of hunger and neglect if they wait for the wage boards to agree on and implement decentralized wage hikes that will provide substantial economic relief for workers in all 79 poverty-stricken provinces and 17 regions nationwide," Beltran said. ###


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