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Aside from commuting, solon says public officials should get minimum wage

/ 04:07 PM October 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from commuting every Monday, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas also wants public officials, especially senators and congressmen, to have a minimum wage just like most Filipino workers in the country.

The progressive lawmaker made the call on Monday after Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao suggested over the weekend to require public officials–from division chiefs, cabinet secretaries to elected officials–to take public transportation every Monday to help “ease traffic congestion and vehicle volume on the roads of Metro Manila.”

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Brosas said giving minimum wage to public officials could help them feel the suffering of ordinary Filipinos.

“Para malaman sa katotohanan magkano talaga budget para sa basic needs, sapat ba talaga para sa pamasahe, pagkain at iba pang gastusin,” the party-list lawmaker said in a statement.

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(So they could know and experience how much is needed for basic needs and if the minimum wage is truly enough for the fare, food and daily needs of people.)

“Bilang ehemplo ng public service dapat manguna sa aksyon at solusyon batay sa tunay na kalagayan, paano malalaman kung ano ang solusyon kung hindi ito mararanasan?” she further asked.

(As an example of good public service, public officials should be at the forefront of the action so they could know the solutions based on actual conditions. How can we know the solution if they won’t experience the hardships firsthand?)

Laguna 3rd District Rep. Sol Aragones, for her part, said commuting once a week would be fine with her but was reluctant about Brosas’ suggestion.

“Ginagalang naman natin ‘yung [panukala] ni congressman Brosas. Ang tingin po natin, ipaubaya natin sa Civil Service [Commission] ang pagtatakda ng wage ng isang public official…” said Aragones, who earlier urged operators of the South Luzon Expressway to either suspend its toll fee collection or lower its rates for six months amid the heavy traffic plaguing the area.

(We respect congresswoman Brosas’ proposal. In my view, we have to let the Civil Service Commission set the wage of a public official…)

“Kung gusto nating pag-aralan talaga ang nararanasan ng ating mga kababayan baka may iba pang paraan para gawin ‘yun,” she added.

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(If we want to study the plight of our countrymen, maybe there’s another way to do that.)

Last Friday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo accepted the dare of groups to commute from Marikina to Malacañang complex in Manila after he repeatedly denied that the capital region is facing a “mass transportation crisis.”

READ: Early riser, jeepney rider Panelo still 46 minutes late for work

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes had concluded that a “mass transport crisis” is gripping Metro Manila after the three major railways of the metropolis — MRT-3 and LRT Lines 1 and 2–  bogged down because of glitches on October 2 and 3. /jpv

READ: Panelo tells public to ‘be creative’ as he rides jeepney to Malacañang

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TAGS: Gabriela, heavy traffic, LRT, Mass transportation crisis, Metro Manila, MRT
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