Saturday, May 16, 2009

"When the Night Comes Falling From the sky"

I saw thousands who could have overcome the darkness,
For the love of a lousy buck, I've watched them die.
Bob Dylan
"When the Night Comes Falling From the sky

This is a song I dedicate to our Congressmen who have taken the liberty of alleviating their own financial woes. Filing Joint Resolution 36, Congress seeks to adjust the government employees salary. All's well for underpaid government employees if this resolution didn't come with a bad taste in the mouth. Of course this salary adjustment also covers them. And working on the principle to equal pay for work of equal value, their salaries will be atleast double what they are receiving now. The President's salary, from P60,000 will be P120,000; the lawmakers' will jump up to P90,000. Undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and such will also enjoy a hefty increase.

This on top of an already ballooning budget deficit of P270B this year.

This resolution is on top of the order of the day, meaning, urgent, for approval as soon as possible.

However, workers' clamor for a mere P125 increase in minimum wage has always been relegated to the back burner. It cannot be done in one click, at the most, but has to be given in installments covering how many years. The P125 wage increase, considering how long it has been being campaigned for. And considering how many times inflation rate has gone up, P125 increase is not even enough.

The same fate has befallen the P3000 across the board campaign for government employees. It has been an almost futile cause if not for the lawmakers' greed themselves to benefit from a salary increase.

"We are united that workers should be given their due share in the creation of wealth and economic production. Labor should be compensated, at the very least, by the assurance that the worker has the capacity to provide for more than the basic necessities of his family. The Philippine Constitution mandates, and a just society necessitates, the state to ensure decent living and economic stability for all.

We are dismayed that wages have long been frozen at levels far from the cost of living. From 2001-06, wages increased only by 18.6\%, while cost of basic goods rised by 38\%. The present national average of the minimum wage is just a meager 34\% of the P871 average living wage."

-- Unity Statement for the P125 Legislated Wage Hike

The above-mentioned Joint Resolution 36, if it passes their scrutiny, will be effective starting July 1 of this year.

Of course delicadeza, and the law, dictates that any legislation they would pass in their term, they should not stand to benefit from. However, delicadeza seems to have been lost in their vocabulary.

Support the Online Petition for the P125 Legislated Wage Hike!

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