MANILA, Philippines — The Federations of Government Unions have joined calls for pay hikes and security of work tenure, urging the government to increase the national minimum salary to allow workers to earn a livable income amid the deterioration of the purchasing power of the peso due to growing inflation.
Government employees have requested President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to “take urgent steps to address the worsening plight of workers in government.”
“Present policies like the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) have deprived us of salaries and benefits we need to make ends meet.”Santiago Dasmariñas Jr., national president of Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees
The SSL was created to regulate and improve the pay of public sector personnel, whereas the CPCS is a standard compensation package for government-owned and controlled enterprises.
Government workers, led by the Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) and Kawani Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon (KALAKON), were also held a rally at the Department of Budget and Management in Manila to ask for better wages, benefits, and job security.
Earlier this week, Budge Secretary Amenah Pagdangaman announced that the DBM would investigate the possibility of additional salary increases for government employees in the coming year, as well as review their current benefits package.
But according to COURAGE Secretary General Manny Baclagon,”This response is not enough. The present state of salaries and benefits of government workers requires more urgent and concrete response from the Bongbong Marcos administration.”
“We challenge President Marcos Jr. to walk the talk. For example, he can make executive issuances to increase present benefits being received now such as the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance, Special Relief Incentive, and Gratuity Pay for job orders and contract of service workers, aside from certifying as urgent the passage of bills to increase the inflation-eroded salaries of government workers,” Baclagon said.
According to the labor unions, the minimum salary for government employees should be increased to P33,000 per month to meet current family living wage standards.
Following the third tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, which went into effect on January 1 this year, a new employee assigned to a Salary Grade 1 position only receives P12,517 per month.
However, the preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Family Income and Expenditure Survey indicated that a family of five would require at least P12,030 per month to cover their food and non-food expenses.