National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno strongly condemns the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines and the National Economic Development Authority for conniving to reject workers’ demands for a significant wage hike.
The NEDA and ECOP are lying. A P125 across-the-board wage hike would only be a 12.3% deduction from capitalists’ profits. The 2013 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) of the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) indicates 1.58 trillion pesos in profits for some 35,000 firms with 3.9 million employees.
Even Micro, small and medium enterprises admit that wages are the least of their worries as labor costs only amounts to 10% of their total production costs. The high cost of electricity, poor infrastructure, red tape in the government and widespread smuggling and influx of cheap imports remain the major deterrents in businesses in the country.
It has also been a foregone conclusion that the P125 hike can be implemented. This was proven by its passage in the 13th Congress but with some sort of manipulation due to cited technicalities by then Congressman Crispin Remulla, the approved version of the P125 wage hike bill was remanded back to the lower house and held there till the lapse of the Congress session.
A P125 across-the-board wage hike has been long overdue and has in fact already fallen short to give immediate relief to workers. The gap between the mandated minimum wage and the family living wage, has drastically widened over the years. The highest wage level in the country, P481 in the NCR, does not even come half of the estimated P1,096 family living wage.
Workers are now demanding a significant wage hike through the implementation of a National Minimum Wage of 750 pesos. This would serve as an immediate relief to workers and their families amidst their worsening hunger and poverty. It would also counter the disparity of wages in the caused by the Wage Rationalization Law and bring the current minimum wage closer to the Family Living Wage.
A National Minimum Wage of P750 would only mean a 30% deduction in capitalists’ profits leaving them 70% of clean profits. NEDA and ECOP can no longer insist their age-old and absurd lies that such a hike would result in loss of jobs and increasing of prices.
NEDA’s position against wage hike is part of the administration’s 10-point economic agenda which undermines workers’ rights and welfare to further attract foreign investors. It is in direct defiance to President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders of implementing a national minimum wage and ending contractualization.
We urge DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello III to stand by the President’s marching orders and reject these lapdogs of Wall Street. He should be more in favor to the workers’ interests to prove that changes are coming in Duterte regime.