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Bishop slams lack of wage increase

President criticised for not taking the opportunity of Labor day to announce revisions

Militant labor unions march in Metro Manila to demand a wage increase Militant labor unions march in Metro Manila to demand a wage increase
  • ucanews.com reporters, Manila
  • Philippines
  • May 3, 2011
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An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) criticized President Benigno Aquino for not granting the demand of workers for a salary increase on May 1, Labor Day.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, said the “non-wage benefits” announced by Aquino as his “gift” to Filipino workers are only a consolation.

“Does he really like to help the people or he just want to placate them [with this so-called gift]?” Bishop Pabillo said. “These non-wage benefits are out of reach of many workers, especially those who are not regular employees.”

In his Labor Day address at a breakfast forum with representatives of various moderate labor groups in Malacanang Palace, Aquino announced several non-wage benefits, among them the early release of the third installment of the salary adjustment for government employees, summer jobs for students, and a rice subsidy to small farmers and fishermen.

He also asked the regional wage boards to speed up deliberations on wage hike petitions by labor unions in the country.

He said his administration recognizes the "fears" of businessmen about wage hike demands, especially small firms, but he "cannot feign deafness to the pleas of minimum wage earners" who have pending petitions with different wage boards.

“The workers are outraged over the Aquino government’s refusal to grant the significant wage hike that we badly need right now to cope with the skyrocketing prices of basic goods and services,” said Elmer Labog, chairman of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1 Movement).

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