Nurse pay hike veto damns Aquino

We condemn Pres. Noynoy Aquino for vetoing the bill seeking an increase in the minimum pay of the country’s nurses. Aquino has shown that he is thoroughly anti-worker until the end of his term. He chooses to ignore the clamor for genuine change which was aired by workers and all Filipinos in the recently-concluded elections.

Aquino chose to ignore the clamor coming from the country’s nurses and workers for bringing the minimum wage closer to the living wage. He knows that there is such a clamor, as shown by his cowardice in issuing the veto less than a month before his term’s end. Previous wage hikes, wage distortions, and existing wage structures do not justify the cruel rejection of a wage hike that is much needed by Filipino nurses.

Like his veto of the P2,000 increase in Social Security System pensions, this veto shows again shows that Aquino is vehemently opposed to giving workers any form of immediate relief. It shows that he prioritizes the interests of big foreign and local capitalists, as well as big bureaucrats, over those of workers and ordinary Filipinos.

We certainly hope that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will once again show his difference from Aquino on this issue and approve the wage hike. Aquino is leaving Duterte with so much work to do to improve the situation of workers and all Filipinos.