KMU said the implementation of the P10 COLA seals Aquino’s record of pressing down wages by implementing only meager wage adjustments and further fragmenting the minimum wage levels throughout the country.
“The P10 COLA for Metro Manila workers shows that Aquino has consistently been anti-worker until the end of his term. He refused to give workers any immediate relief in the form of a significant wage hike and further destroyed the minimum wage,” said Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
Citing data from independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, the labor leader said the resulting P481 minimum wage and the P10 COLA is equivalent to no more than 45 percent of the Family Living Wage, or the amount needed daily by an average Filipino family to live decently.
“The P10 COLA for workers in the National Capital Region shows that the economic growth which the Aquino government brags about means little to the majority of Filipinos. The so-called growth does not mean food on the dining table of workers’ families,” Labog stated.
Labog said the 6.9 percent growth in the country’s first-quarter Gross Domestic Product means little for Filipino workers who are being denied the right to a minimum wage, let alone a living wage.
“What is economic growth if workers are being denied the right to a minimum wage? There is no minimum wage in effect in the country given the regionalization of wage setting, the numerous exemptions to providing the minimum wage, and capitalists’ sheer refusal to give even the legally-mandated minimum,” Labog added.
KMU is calling for the enactment of a National Minimum Wage in the amount of P750 per day for private-sector workers and P16,000 monthly for government employees, a demand which it will present to incoming president Rodrigo Duterte.