MANILA, Philippines – On Labor Day, May 1, President Benigno Aquino III announced an early pay hike for government workers, but said an across-the-board increase for workers would not be possible.
In his Labor Day speech delivered at Malacañang Palace, Aquino said the country’s economy cannot afford the P125 across-the-board pay increase for the private sector.
He said it will cost the Philippine economy P1.43 trillion, price hikes, and the loss of more than 527,000 jobs.
Despite this, Aquino said he has ordered the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards to speed up studying the possibility of wage hikes.
“Inaapura ko na nga po ang kanilang mga konsultasyon sa mga unyon upang makapagbigay na tayo ng bagong wage order sa lalong madaling panahon,” he said. (I am asking them to speed up their consultation with the unions so we can issue a new wage order at the soonest possible time.)
He also said the government needs to further study the proposed subcontracting law, filed as House Bill No. 4853. The chief executive said it could do more harm than good, adding that it could endanger around 10.3 million jobs.
Salary standardization tranche
Meanwhile, the 4th tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) III will be received by government workers in June.
“Inapura na po natin si Kalihim Butch Abad para pagdating ng Hunyo, matatanggap na ang 4th tranche ng Salary Standardization Law III,” he told the crowd at the Tripartite Dialogue & Labor Day breakfast at the Palace’s Heroes Hall. (I am asking Secretary Butch Abad to expedite this so that by June, government workers will receive the 4th tranche of the SSL III.)
“Huwag naman po sanang masamain ito ng mga nasa pribadong sektor; alam naman po siguro ninyong matagal-tagal ding napag-iwanan ang mga sahod naming mga kawani ng gobyerno,” he said. (I hope the private sector doesn’t take this negatively; you probably know that government workers have been lagging behind in salary increases.)
He added that the SSL III is just in time for the upcoming school year.
The President also laid out 4 strategies to address labor problems, particularly unemployment and underemployment. These are:
– Maintaining the number of jobs available in the economy
– Creation of more jobs
– Improving the jobs skills & knowledge of Filipino workers
– Implementation of laws that would protect the rights of workers
In his speech, he also discussed the electricity problem particularly in Mindanao, the status of government infrastructure spending, and the national greening program. – Rappler.com