May 30, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The national center of government employees COURAGE today bewailed the present economic plight of government employees and called for a national minimum wage increase of P16,000/month from the current P10,510/month being received by an employee with salary grade 1.
Earlier, labor groups in the private sector called for a wage increase citing the inflationary impact of the tax reform law. Based from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announcement last May 4, 2018, prices of basic goods and services rose to a 5 year high of 4.5% this April higher than the January 2018 figures when the tax reform law was passed and higher than the government’s inflation target range for 2018 of 2-4%.
“While we completely support the demand of private sector workers for a national minimum wage hike, we also call on government to give attention to the worsening economic condition of its workers especially lower ranked civilian employees at the local level,” Mr. Ferdinand Gaite COURAGE President said.
Gaite cited that the lowest ranked government worker receives lower income of P477.20/day as compared to a minimum wage private sector worker in the National Capital Region who receives an income of P475 - P512 /day.
“The situation of local government workers is even worse. An SG1 employee of the local government of Cuenca, Batangas (4th class municipality), for example, receives 358.29/day as compared to a private sector minimum wage earner who receives P317 - 400/day as set by the regional wage board of Calabarzon,” Mr. Gaite added.
This, he said, is among the many reasons COURAGE is calling for the implementation of a national minimum wage of P16,000/month for government workers to give justice to lower ranked and local government workers instead of the salary standardization law which shall implement its last tranche of increase next year.
“The recent snide remark of NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia in a press interview that only organized labor groups will benefit from a national minimum wage increase is uncalled for and only reflects his callousness to the plight of all workers including government workers in his office for whom the progressive realization of the constitutional right to a living wage is his duty to work on,” Mr. Gaite concluded.