AFTER the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) finally ruled to impose a salary increase in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region, the working class expressed dismay over the varying amounts which to them were simply unfair.
In the Province of Rizal, only Antipolo and Cainta-based minimum wage earners are set to receive a P50 per day increase, while the rest stand to gain less.
Under DOLE regional office’s Wage Order 20, the disparities in the amount of the salary hike depends on what part of the region workers are situated – workers in more developed areas, where the cost of living is often higher, will be getting higher adjustments.
The order which took effect on September 24, workers in Antipolo and Cainta will be getting P520 daily minimum wage, while others would have to make both ends meet with a meager daily salary ranging from P424 to P479 – which is way below the P89 daily wage increase that the Calaca (Batangas) and Carmona (Cavite) agricultural workers will be receiving.
Speaking of cost of living, the price of commodities in the less developed areas are at par with those in the so-called developed areas.
The price of rice, vegetables, sugar, bread and other basic commodities in the less-developed areas are basically the same, which makes the people wonder where DOLE is getting the data from which agency decides as to how much pay increase should be imposed.
According to the National Wages and Productivity Commission, the wage order is expected to directly benefit 719,704 minimum wage earners in the region.
“About 1.6 million full-time wage and salary workers earning above the minimum wage may also indirectly benefit as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion,” it said.
For the longest time, the working class which is the backbone of the economy has been treated with less dignity with the government’s loose change-like salary hikes.
Perhaps it’s high time for the DOLE officials (who are receiving fat paychecks from our taxes) to get out of their comfort zones and go to the public market in the so-called less developed areas where they might realize the injustice that they’ve been giving to the Filipino workers for who knows how long.
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