Albay Lawmaker hits Noynoy for lack of labor policy

Published by rudy Date posted on May 3, 2011

A senior member of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives yesterday slammed President Aquino anew, this time for what he termed as a lack of “concrete concrete, resolute and progressive labor policy” while at the same time claiming as credit for the new wage hike for government employees slated to be implemented in June.

In a statement, House Minority Leader, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said that despite Aquino having been in office for 10 months now, his administration still does not have a concrete, resolute and progressive labor policy other than a mere compendium of patched-up palliatives.

“When President Aquino cautioned workers that labor reforms cannot be expected overnight, he failed to realize that he has not even begun to embark on his own labor reforms,” Lagman said.

The solon also scored Aquino for trying to project himself as someone sympathetic to the workers’ plight by announcing an impending increase for salaries of government workers when the wage hike under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and even the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards are based on existing labor statutes which were not initiated by the Aquino administration.

“The Salary Standardization Law III (SSL III) was adopted on June 17, 2009 under Senate and House of Representatives Joint Resolution No. 4, S. 2009, and involves a P242.3-billion salary increase package for government personnel to be granted in four annual tranches,” Lagman said.

“The President’s advancing the third tranche of SSL III by one month in June is appreciated but is nothing much to crow about, particularly so when there is no parallel wage hike for private sector workers.”

The solon stressed that wage boards were created in 1989 under RA 6727, which coincided with the last grant of statutory or legislated wage increase 22 years ago.

“In fact, the law establishing the wage boards should be revisited and possibly repealed because it has fragmented wage increments across the nation at varying levels as if the impact of economic woes and price escalation is not an equal burden on all workers regardless of urban or rural setting,” Lagman averred.

“Moreover, the wage boards have been dominated by employer and government representatives who have jointly out-voted workers’ representatives so much so that wage increases come infrequently and inadequately long after the last wage hike has been negated by inflation and spiraling costs of basic commodities,” he added.

The Albay solon also scored Aquino for having faulted previous administrations for having “trumpeted figures” as mere lip service on Labor Day, which is not an entirely accurate accusation.

“But in the case of the President, he is afraid even to talk about figures and is ambivalent on his commitment to labor,” Lagman said.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño also criticized the Aquino administration as “a patently anti-worker continuation of the much-despised Arroyo regime. The absence of any wage hikes, salary upgrades and lack of relief from price hikes on oil and basic commodities makes the first Labor Day under P-Noy an insult to Filipino workers and the people who he called ‘his boss’ when he assumed power.”

“Nasaan ang manggagawa sa daang matuwid? Nakahandusay sa bangketa, hilahod sa pagod at kahirapan subalit hindi napapansin ng Presidenteng nakasakay sa Porsche,” he added.

At the Labor Day rally in Manila last Sunday, the party-list solon also called on Aquino to “get a grip on reality and certify two measures for wage hikes pending in Congress as ‘extremely urgent’ in the light of the huge disparity of the current minimum wage and the cost of living.”

“Non-wage benefits are at the least degrading as a gift to workers on Labor Day. We have House Bill 375 which seeks a legislated P125 across the board daily wage hike for private sector workers and House Bill 3746 which seeks an increase of P6,000 per month for government employees. These are urgent economic relief measures that are not only timely for the country, but a matter of social justice and government responsibility to its people,” Casiño said.

The country’s last legislated wage hike was in 1989 when government approved a P30 across-the-board increase.

“The P404 minimum wage in the NCR is too far from the estimated P957 cost of living (P553). Adding P125 is not enough. But that amount will definitely help workers buy more food and other basic goods if you raise the minimum wage to P529 if the HB 375 is fast-tracked into law,” Casiño added. –Charlie V. Manalo, Daily Tribune

Month – Workers’ month

“Hot for workers rights!”


Solidarity with CTU Myanmar,
trade unions around the world,
for democracy in Myanmar,
with the daily protests of
people in Myanmar against
the military coup and
continuing oppression.


Accept National Unity Government
(NUG) of Myanmar.
Reject Military!

#WearMask #WashHands

Time to support & empower survivors.
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time for #GenerationEquality to #orangetheworld!
Trade Union Solidarity Campaigns
Get Email from NTUC
Article Categories