Tag Archives: Cost of Living Allowance

[In the news] Militant labor groups demand living, not ‘libing’ wage -INQUIRER.com

Militant labor groups demand living, not ‘libing’ wage.

By Tina G. Santos,Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 2, 2012

“Libing (burial),” not living, wage.

This was how militant and labor groups described the remaining P10 increase in the cost-of-living-allowance (Cola) for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila, which took effect Thursday.

“No wonder the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) implemented this hike in time for Day of the Dead (Araw ng Patay),” Anakbayan chair Vencer Crisostomo said in a statement.

Crisostomo said the hike is far from the P125 demanded by the workers and the P993 Family Living Wage set by Ibon Foundation in 2011, the amount required to meet daily family needs.

“The present workers’ pay is not a living wage, it’s a ‘libing’ (funeral) wage. You can feel the spirit of the dead, but not the wage hike,” he said in Filipino, adding that most employers do not implement the minimum wage levels.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

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[Statement] Amid grievances, teachers meet classes with a smile -TDC

Amid grievances, teachers meet classes with a smile

School opening puts the education sector in spotlight and the perennial problems are tackled over and over. This year, we would like to mention several issues, which the teachers would like to challenge the government with. These are the same issues which we included in pour prayer intention in churches yesterday. These issues are a number of our proposals, which we believe should be given priority and would certainly boost, not just the morale of public school teachers, but the quality of education as well:

1. Enough funds for K12 Program or postponement of its implementation
Sufficient fund for education sector is needed to implement the ambitious K-12 basic education cycle, Aquino government’s flagship program for education sector. If the program aims to reach the high standard and put the Philippine schools at with the rest of the world, then the input should also be world-class. If not, the DepEd may consider postponement of its implementation until the system is fully prepared.

2. P3000 additional allowance for teachers
Granting of P3000 increase in teachers and government employees’ Personal Emergency Relief Allowance or PERA, which currently amounting to P2000 and the latest adjustment (an increase of P500) was done in year 2006. The PERA is the government counterpart of the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for the private sector, which supposedly adjusted depending on the cost of living in particular area and time.

3. Upgrading of teachers’ salaries thru the enactment of P9000 increase
A reiteration of teachers’ appeal to lawmakers and Malacanang to consider the passing of the bill, “Additional Support and Compensation for Public School Teachers” which will grant them a P9000 pay increase among other benefits, in line with the salary upgrading principles. This is the government’s supposed respond to rectify the decades-long error of placing the teachers in a very low position in government salary classification. Said proposal was extensively tackled during the 14th Congress but was eventually overshadowed by Arroyo administration’s SSL-3. This year, the last tranche of increase under the SSL-3 will be given and the bill was re-filed in Senate by its original author, minority leader Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

4. Repeal of Compulsory Poll Duties of teachers
Year 2013 is another election year, and as in the past, teachers will once again be in charge of the polls which will expose them to health risk, harassment and other physical hazards and legal problems in performance of their mandated duty, while being paid very minimal compensation. While most of them consider election work as patriotic duty, teachers want to make this optional to ensure the government protection and proper compensation.

5. Provision of socialized housing and other benefits for teachers
Implement the spirit of constitutional provision that says: “The state shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment” by providing a socialized housing for teachers; entitlement of the teachers to paid vacation, sick and privilege leave benefits; lowering of compulsory retirement age; tax reduction for teachers; and scholarship program for their children among others.

6. More funds to Kindergarten program and just and compensation to kinder teachers
Kindergarten system which is a very important foundation of basic learning skills should be given special attention. Construction of classrooms, purchase of facilities and teaching materials especially made for pre-schoolers and hiring of specially-trained teachers with enough compensation should be the priority of Aquino administration rather than the expansion of basic education to 12 years. The present honorarium in the amount of P3000 per month for a 3-hour daily teaching is unacceptable; it violates existing laws on teachers’ working hours and remuneration and only proves that the government is not ready for this big shift. Kindergarten is a fundamental component of K-12 and the entire program is dependent upon it.

7. End contractualization of teachers both in public and private schools
Create new teaching positions based on actual needs and prioritize the assignment of incumbent locally-paid teachers to vacant or newly created permanent teaching positions from the national government and compel the LGUs to enforce the provision of Magna Carta which states that: “The salary scales of teachers whose salaries are appropriated by a city, municipal, municipal district, or provincial government, shall not be less than those provided for teachers of the National Government.” Security of tenure- both for private and public employees and workers is a constitutional right, the Department of Education should guarantee the protection of such.
Despite the miserable condition in public schools, we still anticipate a successful school year and we to do everything, even beyond our capacity to make this school year fruitful for the Filipino children and the entire nation.

Thus, even with our grievances due to government’s failure to prioritize teachers and education sector, we will be back to our respective classes today to meet our students- with a smile. They are, after all the reason why we chose this great profession- this vocation.

June 4, 2012

Re: School opening
Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
3853437/ 09205740241

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[In the news] Trade Union Congress of the Philippines revives wage hike | Sun.Star

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines revives wage hike | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
March 24, 2012

AFTER several months of waiting for supervening conditions, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will be re-filing its petition for an P80 across-the-board wage increase.

TUCP regional coordinator Engineer Rey Lardizabal said the wage increase petition is needed for the labor sector to survive the surging prices of transportation and fuel, basic and prime commodities and cost of living.

Lardizabal said a wage hike is inevitable, citing previous increases in salaries have been overtaken by continuing price hikes.

In a petition by the TUCP, it said wage orders of P10 to P15 for cost of living allowance (Cola) in 2008 and the P12 additional Cola enforced last January 2011 have been overtaken by increases in prices of petroleum products, transportation and basic goods and commodities.

The group is now batting again for a P352 minimum daily wage in the region compared to the prevailing P272 minimum wage enforced in 2011.

The group also said it is time to enable workers to recover from the difficulties brought about by the global financial crisis a few years ago.

TUCP cited workers and their families, despite spectacular gains in the gross national product, production and productivity, have not been granted a single peso in real wage increase since 1989.

For them, increased wages would help sustain the economic recovery of the country as it will help bolster local demand, TUCP said.

The group also compared that from May 2008 to March 2011, the consumer price index in the region rose from 154.5 to 172.8 or the equivalent of a 12-percent increase in consumer prices or equal to a P31.20 excluding new price increases in transportation, fuel and basic commodities.

Discussing their previous petition, consumer prices brought about by unabated fuel and water and electricity rate increases according to the group are also expected to rise by as much as eight percent and more considering the increases in transportation and fuel experienced this year.

This, according to TUCP, is equivalent to an additional P20.80 increase in wages.

Read full article @ http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/local-news/2012/03/24/union-revives-wage-hike-212904

[In the news] Central Luzon workers to get P14 hike in living allowances- INQUIRER.net

Central Luzon workers to get P14 hike in living allowances.

By Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Workers in Central Luzon have been given a P14-increase in their daily cost-of-living allowance (COLA), acting Labor Secretary Danilo Cruz said on Monday in Manila.

Cruz said the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) approved Wage Order No. RB III-16 in granting the COLA increase to all minimum-wage workers in the private sector.

The board “deemed it necessary to provide workers immediate relief from the rising costs of living, taking into account the interests of both labor and management, as well as the continued sustainability of business and industry,” he said.

Workers of non-agricultural establishments with total assets of at least P30 million in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales would receive P330 per day, Cruz said in a statement.

“Workers in the establishments with a total assets of less than P30 million shall receive P322.50 per day,” he added.

For agriculture workers in the region, except in Aurora, the minimum wage rates would be P300 for plantation workers and P284 for non-plantation workers.

For workers in retail/service establishments with 16 or more workers, the new minimum wage rates will be P319 while those with less than 16 workers will receive P305 per day. Cottage or handicraft workers would receive P284 per day, Cruz said.

In Aurora, minimum wage earners in the non-agricultural sector shall receive a new daily rate of P279, while those in the agricultural sector will receive P264 for plantation workers and P244 for non-plantation workers.

Cruz said retail/service establishments in Aurora with no more than 10 workers would receive P201 per day, while cottage or handicraft workers would receive P252 per day.

Prior to its issuance of the new wage order, RTWPB III declared the existence of a supervening condition on May 9, 2011 because of extraordinary increases in prices of petroleum products, transport fees, and basic goods and services, Cruz said.

“The Regional Board exercised its wage fixing function even if the previous wage order, which was issued on November 22, 2010 has not yet expired,” he added.

Cruz said that the COLA granted under Wage Order No. RB III-16 would be included in the computation of private sector workers’ five days service incentive leave, vacation leave, sick leave, paternity and maternity leaves, and leaves under Republic Act 9262, or the Victims of Violance against Women and their Children Act.

He added that the COLA would also be computed in the payment for 12 national holidays and three special holidays. It is also included in the determination of the premium payments for Social Security System (SSS), Pag-Ibig housing, separation, and retirement pays.

[Statement] P125 Minimum Wage Increase Now! www.masa.ph

by Partido Lakas ng Masa

The Workers Create the Wealth of the Society!
We Deserve Better!

The Regional Wage Board’s decision of giving NCR workers a 22 pesos non-wage benefit is unacceptable and considered an insult to all non-agricultural workers. The additional Php 22 was too little to make any economic impact for the workers because it was given way too late when prices of basic commodities and transportation fares were already increased.  We can say that the adjustment is really not an adjustment to help but a mere pampalubag loob (consolation).  President Noynoy Aquino (Pnoy) made an announcement before May 1, International Labor Day, that he has good news for the workers.  But instead of making good of his promise to help alleviate a little the economic condition of the workers, he failed the expectations of the Filipino working class for the nth time.  This decision and the inability of Pnoy to act in favor of the majority, made it clear that Pnoy’s bosses are not the ordinary people but the elites.

The Php 22 is not a wage increase which the workers are asking.  It is way below the Php 125 or the Php 75 that the workers are asking, and is too little for a Living Wage needed by a worker to live a decent life.  The Php 22 that will be added to the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) will not be subject to over time and night differential and 13th month pay computations, making the Board’s decision more favorable to employers than the workers who badly need a salary increase.

This decision is a manifestation that the ruling elite of this country is highly favored by this government.  The Private Partnership Program (PPP) of Pnoy is in full motion to the detriment of the working class.  All those who will benefit from this shenanigan are the capitalists who are cashing in on the government’s inability to protect the interest of the working class who produces the wealth of the society.

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Laboring Masses) calls on Pnoy to do something for a change, to do something to benefit the ordinary Filipino, especially the Working Class.  What he needs is a political will to put forward policies that will benefit the poor majority of the society.  What the workers are asking is a Php 125 salary increase, the scrapping of the Oil Deregulation Law, and the cancellation of EVAT for basic commodities!  And we will not settle for anything less!

11 May 2011

[Press Release] P22 COLA insufficient, insulting to workers – CTUHR

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights criticized the P22 cost of living allowance approved by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB), saying that such amount and form of non-wage benefit is both insufficient and insulting to workers.

“Twenty-two pesos a day is not even enough to buy a kilo of NFA rice. It is obviously insufficient to provide relief to workers amid spiraling prices of basic commodities and oil products,” Daisy Arago executive director of CTUHR said.

Ibon Foundation reported earlier this month that inflation since July 2010 has averaged at 3.7 percent, rising to 4.5 percent in April 2011. The real value of P404 minimum wage was therefore eroded to a mere P234.90 when compared to 2000 prices.

Arago noted that the approved P22 COLA would probably increase wages to P426 but it must be noted that employers at times are harder to comply with non-wage benefits.

“Thus, giving this measly amount in the form of a non-wage benefit is all the more insulting. The workers have long demanded for significant wage hikes that cover increases in night differential and overtime pay. This P22 COLA is not even a bit of that,” Arago says. “If any, it only proves that the Aquino government is insensitive to the needs of the ailing population and listens only to the business sector.”

Arago noted that with this development, the clamor for a nationally-legislated wage hike becomes even more legitimate and imperative.

“The regional wage boards have made it very difficult to approve major wage hikes for all the workers to benefit. It has only added misery to workers’ lives,  especially for those in other regions where minimum wages are much lower. Only a nationally-legislated wage hike workers across the country will ensure benefit for all workers regardless of their region and industry. Currently, the House of Representatives are deliberating at the committee level on the proposed bill of Anakpawis Partylist to legislate a P125 nationwide wage hike and it appears that some senators are also interested in forming a similar senate bill.  The people should not stop until this piece of legislation is finally passed,” Arago added.
11 May 2011
for reference: Daisy Arago, Executive Director, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, +63910.380.1897