May 10, 2011
Proposed P22.00 ECOLA of the NCR-RWB, an alms and an insult to the Filipino Workers!
The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) pronouncement of the proposed P22.00 ECOLA by the NCR-RWB (National Capital Region-Regional Wage Board) is a far cry from NEDA and NSO’s study of around P967.00 daily cost of living for family of 6 to have a decent life. The present minimum wage is pegged by the National Wage Council of only 404.00 per day in the National Capital Region. On the other hand, much lower minimum wage is being enjoyed by workers outside the Metropolis. If applied in the National Capital Region, around P563.00 is needed to cope up the daily cost of living.
The P22.00 ECOLA will not be commensurate to the all time high inflation rate and the 29.2% price increases of prime commodities and basic expenses on electricity and water rates. The irony of it all is that big capitalists for the last three months were in the headlines making huge profits. In an earlier report, the top 1,000 corporations were raking in billions of pesos in profits since 2001 and were tripled in 2008 from P116 Billions in 2001 to P416.7 in 2008. Many Filipino billionaires were in fact cited in the Forbes Magazine’s Richest Men in the world.
The staggering downfall of the real wage as reflected in the Consumers’ Price Index (CFI) in the year 2000 data that for every peso spent of that year compared to this year, the value of P1.00 then is now pegged at P.60 Centavos. Roughly 10% will benefit the proposed additional ECOLA. In the past, loopholes in the implementation will again cropped-up because of too many exemptions and deferments. Above minimum wage earners and those employers with 10 workers and below were exempted from the proposed scheme. Not to mention those companies expected to present financial losses to enjoy some exemptions.
“We find the DOLE proposal as an insult to the Filipino workers. The scheme will not alleviate the plight of the workers now wallowing in poverty. The proposal is not meant to help the helpless Filipino workers but to appease and condone the whims and caprices of the greedy capitalists.” Leody De Guzman, BMP President asserted in an interview.
Mr. De Guzman further added that “The men and women of the DOLE should be reminded that they are running the agency to protect the cause of labor and not becoming alter ego and mouthpiece of big businesses and capitalists. If they can’t live up to the aspirations of the Filipino workers then they have no business manning the department. More so with the wage boards that should be ultimately abolished in favor of an increase through legislated mechanism. ”
For his part, Mr. Ronnie Luna, incumbent BMP Executive Vice President, challenged the P-noy administration and averred that “The scheme is not in consonance with the pronouncement of President Aquino during the Mayday Celebration where he proposed profit sharing as a means to achieve real productivity and progress of the country. In fact, the President himself believed that to enhance partnership of labor and capital, the best prescription would be profit sharing in order to ensure clean and honest governance to the people and the industry. This is what P-noy called the right path. So, Mr. Aquino, where is profit sharing here as exemplified by NCR-RWB ECOLA proposal? “. (30)