Give workers a wage hike to help them fight inflation, says solon
MANILA, Philippines — The government should increase the wage of workers to counter rising inflation instead of focusing on the creation of a sovereign wealth fund and restoring the confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) of government agencies, Rep. France Castro of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list group said in a statement on Tuesday.
“In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, the Marcos administration should ensure that its people are able to provide decent lives for themselves and their families. With the record-high inflation rate of 8% this November, the Marcos Jr. administration cannot deny the fact that this has a huge impact on the everyday lives of ordinary Filipinos,” Castro said.
“While the Marcos administration is swiftly passing the Maharlika Wealth Fund, its people do not even have loose change to spare. The current family living wage as of October 2022 is already at P1,133. This is far from the current P570 daily minimum wage of private sector workers,” she added.
Critics, including lawmakers like; Albay First District Rep. Edcel Lagman, have been urging Congress to slow down its move to pass the bill to allow for more discussions about it.
Ilocos First District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, a senior deputy majority leader, has denied that the bill is railroaded in the House. Marcos, son of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is one of the bill’s primary authors.
In her statement on Tuesday, Castro also said that Congress should be as quick in passing public service programs — like having a safe return to schools and provision of social aid — as it had been in restoring the P150 million CIF of the Department of Education and the P10 billion budget of the National Force Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The bicameral conference committee announced both moves after its meeting on Monday.
“It was so quick to put back the P10 billion to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and the P150 million confidential fund to the DepEd. But for the salaries, benefits, and basic needs of the education sector for the safe return to schools, the government has no money?” Castro said in Filipino.
“The Marcos administration must do something to ease the rising prices of basic goods. Increase salaries and wages to give the people more purchasing power and remove VAT and other taxes on essential goods, especially oil products. Rechannel the budget for the fascist NTF-ELCAC and confidential funds to social services and aid,” she added.
Earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority report stated that one of the main drivers of the 8.0% inflation rate in November 2022 was the higher prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which rose by 10.0 percent.
The 8.0 percent inflation rate in November is the highest in 14 years.