27 April 2017
At a press conference of teachers on Labor Day issues, ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro urged President Duterte to heed the call of workers for a national minimum wage of Php750 a day for employees in the private sector and Php16, 000 a month for state workers.
The solons pointed out that pay increases are among the top concerns of the Filipinos including other economic issues such as controlling inflation and creating more jobs, citing Pulse Asia’s March 2017 Ulat ng Bayan Survey. “The Duterte administration should therefore heed this resounding clamor of the people by enacting laws that will increase salaries and wages of the working people,” said Tinio.
“We find it alarming that the current administration’s legislative agenda, as announced in its Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, does not include salary increases for public and private sector workers, and instead only plans to pass a productivity incentives bill for the private sector,” noted Castro.
The productivity incentives bill for the private sector will entrench the two-tiered wage system that effectively prevents increase of minimum wages, rather than raising them in time with inflation. This proposed scheme only provides incentives to big capitalists and reducing their labor costs instead of attending to the needs of Filipino workers.
“We urge the Duterte administration to scrap the two-tiered wage system in the private sector and Performance-Based Incentive System (PBIS), Strategic Performance Management System, and similar schemes in the public sector, which both serve to suppress wage levels and impose additional burdens on workers and employees,” Tinio stressed. “It should instead raise the national minimum wage and implement a new round of salary increases in the public sector to enable Filipino workers and their families to have decent lives.”
“Public school teachers are among the professionals and government employees that have been suffering under divisive schemes that provide additional compensation based on work performance such as the Performance Based Bonus, Results-based Performance Management System and PBIS,” said Castro. “What we need in the education sector is Php25, 000 minimum pay for the entry-level teaching position in public schools, Php16, 000 for non-teaching staff and set the minimum Php 27,000 for faculty in State Universities and Colleges.”
“In addition, Pres. Duterte should reconsider the proposed new excise taxes on fuel and expansion of the value-added tax coverage which are currently being discussed in the Lower House as these would worsen the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities. We challenge the President to side with the toiling Filipino workers and uphold their rights to decent permanent jobs and living wage.” the solons urged. ###