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Lawmakers dismayed with P22 Cola for minimum wage workers
In The Press Posted on May 10th, 2011.
PARTY-LIST legislators on Tuesday excoriated the government after the National Capital Region (NCR) regional wage board approved a P22 Emergency Cost of Living Allowance (Ecola) for minimum wage workers.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier said the additional P22 Ecola would bring to P426 the daily minimum wage of workers in the NCR from the current P404.
Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said the Ecola is a monumental insult to workers who are contending with hikes in the prices of oil and basic commodities and services.
"This is light-years away from the substantial P125 across-the-board wage hike that workers have been fighting for. The government is literally spitting on our country's workers. Its manifest siding with greedy employers shows that Aquino's labor policy is no different from his predecessor," Casiño added.
Gabriela Women's Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan also found the P22 Ecola hike meaningless and insulting.
"It is a slap on the face. Granting slave-level increases in workers' allowances only prove the wage board's inutility. Moreover, it is proof that the Aquino government treats its workers like dirt," Ilagan said.
"Saan ba makakarating ang P22? Ni hindi mo mga masabing pampalubag-loob ang halagang ito," she added.Ilagan pointed out that the P22 amount does not even bring the minimum pay of workers close to the Family Living Wage (FLW), which the National Wages and Productivity Commission pegged at P957.
The Gabriela lawmaker added that the increase in Ecola will not even be included in computations for workers' benefits and bonuses, such as the P13th month pay, separation pay, as well as overtime pay computation.