Press Release
November 17, 2015

On the first day of APEC, Cayetano pushes for living wage

On the first day of APEC, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano Cayetano pushes for living wage among Filipino workers and expressed reservations over the administration's recent decision merely increasing the salary of government employees, stressing that instead of a meager salary hike, providing Filipino workers with a living wage is more necessary to create genuine change

"Ang ibig sabihin ng inclusive growth ay kayang sustentuhan ng bawat Pilipino ang sarili niya at ang kanyang pamilya. It's not enough that we raise people's pay by a small fraction. If we want real change, give people a more reasonable standard of living," Cayetano noted.

"Kailangan ngayon ng matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon para sa bawat manggagawang Pilipino," he added.

The senator issued this statement during the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit and in light of the proposed "Salary Standardization Law of 2015" (SSL 2015), which was endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III in Congress.

He said any discussion about economic development should ultimately benefit the people, especially sectors that have not felt the effects of the country's growing economy.

Citing data from the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), Cayetano lamented that NCR's daily minimum wage at around P9,620 per month, while government employees on the lowest salary grade (SG1) receive only P9,000 per month. Public teachers' and police officers' entry level salaries are P18,549 and P14,834 per month, respectively.

Even with the proposed 27-percent hike in salaries, the estimated family living wage in NCR is still much higher at P27, 510 per month, Cayetano noted.

"Our Constitution mandates that a worker should be given a living wage. But right now, the compensation package that we give to our minimum wage earners is not even enough to provide for their families' basic expenses," he said.

"The context of the APEC discussions is about promoting economic development among participating countries. So it's only fitting that we talk about providing better benefits for the Filipino people, since they are the ones who should benefit the most from these discussions," the senator concluded.

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