Government employees are demanding for salary increases and economic relief in light of rising prices of oil and basic goods and services.
“As the Duterte administration recently announced it is considering increasing national minimum wage of private sector workers, government workers also called for similar minimun pay increase and economic relief to cushion the impact of rising prices of oil and basic commodities,” the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) said.
COURAGE president Santiago Dasmarinas said the purchasing power of public sector workers had already been severely eroded by inflation even before the pandemic.
“With the big increase in oil prices recently, which would surely result to price increases in basic commodities, government employees can no longer bear the economic hardships they are experiencing,” Dasmarinas said.
The group said that to mitigate the poor conditions of government workers, the government must:
* Raise the national minimum wage of government workers to P16,000 per month as proposed in House Bill (HB) 6362 filed by the Makabayan bloc in Congress;
* Provide for a monthly inflation adjustment allowance of P3,000 as proposed in HB 9922 by Makabayan;
* Implement an extended and expanded social amelioration package for workers and the general public who are suffering more because of high inflation;
* Remove excise and value added taxes on oil products and impose price control measures; and
* Implement humane working arrangements and policies to alleviate workers’s conditions.
COURAGE said low salary-grade employees, local government workers, government-owned and controlled corporation workers, contract of service and job order workers, have been short-changed by the existing salary standardization law and the government’s compensation and position classification system that made them ill-prepared to deal with the inflation brought about by the pandemic and rising oil prices. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)