“Our workers expect Congress to enact a P125 legislated wage increase for workers in the private sector (HB 1722) and P3,000 in the government service (HB 1962), effect an immediate tax relief for low- and middle-income workers (HB 3462), and remove the Value Added Tax on oil products (HB 3442). All of these bills have been excluded from the so-called House reform agenda of the current leadership,” Casiño said. The militant solon cited figures from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showing that the cost of consumer goods are already rising while workers and employees suffer extremely low wage levels across the board.
“The DTI reveals that the prices of rice increased by 44%, fish 14.3%, pork by 23%, chicken and vegetables by 20%, fruits by 25%, and cooking oil by 56% since April 2007. The independent think tank IBON Foundation on the other hand ascertained that wages have only increased by a mere 18.6% since Arroyo assumed office in 2001 as compared to the 37.9% increase in prices of basic goods. Congress has to realize that an average Filipino family has lost P20,400,” Casiño said.
As workers' purchasing power continues to fall, the incomes of big companies in the Philippines have considerably risen.
“The profits of the top 1000 corporations in the country have risen by an astounding 327 percent. Manufacturing companies spend only 6.8 percent for labor costs. This is a clear reason corporations can easily follow a P125 legislated wage adjustment by deducting from their enormous profits instead of increasing the prices of their products. Congress should shake off its lethargy and insensitivity and rush the passage of House Bills 1722, 1962, 3442 and 3462.”
HB 1722 has been languishing in the House Committee on Labor and Employment headed by Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, HB 1962 is pending with the Committee on Appropriations headed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, while HBs 3442 and 3462 are pending with the Committee on Ways and Means headed by Antique Rep. Exequiel Javier. #
(article from: bayan muna)
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