GMA Favors Foreign Investors Over Filipinos

Jan. 28, 2007

MANILA — Malacaang and the legislators seem to think that the peoples demand for a wage hike merely trivial. Their vacillating stand regarding this very crucial issue is infuriating for the people who have to survive on barely decent salaries.

Such was the criticism of GABRIELA Secretary General Emmi De Jesus who slammed the Palace for its plan to veto the wage hike bill. This administration obviously does not have the interest of the people in its priority list. And yet since the start of the year, the Palace has been making promises that the people can now reap economic benefits. Or are those promises merely press releases?

According to De Jesus, the P125 wage hike would not even make a dent on the severe problem of poverty and hunger in the Philippines. If the living wage for a family of six members in the National Capital Region is P766 and the nominal daily minimum wage is P350, then the increase of P125 is definitely still inadequate because the wage gap is already pegged at P416. And yet the proposed salary increase would still be staggered in three years! GABRIELA believes that the administration is being more than unreasonable not giving the people this wage hike!

De Jesus said that it is usually the women in every family who are burdened with the task of budgeting for the whole family. It is the mothers who have to come up with other means to stretch the family income. In worst cases, mothers are forced to sacrifice their own health and well-being in order to feed the children and other members of the family.

De Jesus also pointed out that the administration is only pretending to be concerned about small and medium scale businesses when it is really worried about losing foreign investors who flock the Philippines because of ridiculously cheap labor. Theres no denying that GMA opposes the wage hike to keep these foreign investors trust and capital. But the people united is stronger than the administration and her business partners. Thus, she can bet her illegitimate career that the people will continue the struggle for a decent salary until the administration gives in. #

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