DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Militant labor scoffed at the National Economic Development Authority for being “ridiculous” in pegging a P10,000 as decent monthly family budget.
“Stop justifying low wages and poverty,” the militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno said in a statement on Wednesday.
The group denounced NEDA undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon for the justifications she made when the P10,000 ceiling for a family to survive she presented was highly criticized by the public.
Edillon clarified she only meant to explain how the amount could best be allocated.
KMU said the clarification only added insult to injury. Given the chronic poverty in the country, Filipinos are already well-versed on the grim necessities of subsistence living.
The group recently supported the filing of House Bill 7787 that calls for the establishment of a national minimum wage for the workers in the private sector.
Filed by the members of Makabayan bloc, HB 7787 will set the national daily minimum wage to P750 if enacted into law.
The measure, KMU said, will also serve as an immediate relief to workers and their families amidst the unabated price increases of goods and services due to TRAIN law. [See related story: Makabayan solons propose P750 national minimum daily wage for workers]
A blind administration
NEDA is only a part of a hierarchy that has long been blind to the real situation of the Filipinos, especially the workers and poor families, KMU said.
The group is referring to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte which they accused of being arrogant when it presented the P10,000 monthly budget for families.
KMU said ordinary Filipinos are knowledgeable on the daily costs of food, commuting, rent, education, electricity, and water compared to the economic managers Duterte.
“This claim shows that NEDA is out of touch with the reality of the country’s workers and poor, and does not truly aspire for economic development. Instead of setting the standards for decent living in the country, NEDA has chosen to fall in line with the Duterte government’s insensitivity towards workers and the poor,” the group added.
They also underscored the persistent refusal of Duterte administration to take actions amidst the increasing inflation rate.
“Towards this end, we demand that the Duterte administration classify the pending National Minimum Wage hike bill in Congress as urgent, and call on all Filipinos to condemn and reject the posturing of NEDA,” KMU concluded. (davaotoday.com)