ANTIPOLO City, Nov. 12, 2011—Urban poor alliance, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) pressed for a fair minimum wage for workers as economic pressure is now taking its toll to the ordinary people’s lives.
Kadamay honorary chairperson Carmen “Nanay Mameng” Deunida in a press statement said, the current P404 (US$9.32, based on the prevailing peso-dollar exchange rate) minimum wage cannot sustain a family.
“The additional P22 cost of living allowance cannot protect our workers from the effects of price hikes of basic commodities, especially those who have contractual and casual employment,” Deunida said.
Kadamay said that they are supporting the pending bill in Congress that pushes for a P125 ($2.88) increase on the minimum wage of all workers in the country.
In addition to the increase on the minimum wage, the group also pressed of scrapping of the contractual and flexible labor policies being implemented in the country.
Based on the current statistics, around 70 percent of the total Philippine workforce are employed through contracts.
Deunida assailed the Department of Labor and Employment for allegedly conniving with huge companies, both foreign and local, for endorsing contractual and flexible labor in the Philippines, as proven by DOLE Order No. 18-02.
“The said order has even taught the capitalist on how to implement contractualization through different deceptive measures, and has resulted to the gradual liquidation of unions of workers,” Deunida explained.
Nevertheless, a genuine land reform could also be the key for a successful poverty alleviation program, said Deunida.
“Unless the Aquino administration implements genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization program, it cannot solve the problem of urban poverty caused by urban migration, and abusive employment system that follow the dictates of neoliberal policies,” she said. [Noel Sales Barcelona]