by Vito Barcelo, Manila Standard, Aug 14, 2019
A labor group is opposing the planned increase in ATM—automated teller machines—fees by charging P15 per withdrawal, saying the amount is burdensome to millions of daily minimum workers who only receive each a measly P537 a day.
“Doubling the fee would be onerous on workers receiving their wages through payroll ATM accounts,” according to Partido Manggagawa chairman Rene Magtubo.
He explained that P15 was almost 3 percent of the daily minimum wage at the National Capital Region.
“Worse it is around 4 percent of the daily of a minimum wage earner in the Cavite economic zone. Doubling the ATM fee would mean banks taking 6 to 8 percent of the minimum wage of workers per withdrawal. This is highway robbery,” he said.
The labor group called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to use its regulatory power to freeze any ATM fee hikes and support the congressional inquiry into the issue.
“We call on the bankers to moderate their greed. Unlike workers’ wages, banks’ profits are higher by 26 percent compared to last year,” Magtubo opined.
He reminded the banks that workers were being forced to withdraw from ATM’s since salaries were now commonly received through payroll accounts.
“It is no fault of the workers that they have to transact through ATM’s. And of course, the most convenient way is to access your account is from the nearest ATM which is not necessarily one from their payroll bank. Workers would not want to waste time and fare by going to their own bank’s ATM if it is one or several rides away,” Magtubo added.