'Sana all': Senate workers say increase in inflationary aid is just, a must for all workers

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
'Sana all': Senate workers say increase in inflationary aid is just, a must for all workers
A motorist pays for its tank refueling in a gas station along Nangka J.P. Rizal in Marikina on Monday, June 20, 2022.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The increase in inflation assistance for Senate employees is fruit of their decades-long call to the government body, their union said, as they also called for higher benefits and aid for all workers nationwide amid rapidly rising living costs.

The Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon o SENADO on Tuesday explained that the increased inflation assistance to P50,000 from the previous P12,000 was due to their call for higher benefits because their wages barely sustain a living.

They pointed out that there is a huge gap between minimum wage of workers — including rank and file government employees — and the set family living wage of P1,161 daily.

“Even if the last tranche of the Salary Standardization Law has been implemented for government staff, the true worth of our salary is not enough for a family of five to six to subsist daily,” SENADO said  in Filipino.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri announced at their flag-raising ceremony on Monday that they would raise the upper chamber’s one-time inflation assistance to P50,000 from P12,000, as help to employees amid rising cost of goods and living.

This covers all 3,000 Senate staff, Zubiri said, adding that this came from savings of the Senate.

'Sana all'

The Senate president also recognized that the current minimum wage "is not necessarily a living wage" — a view that SENADO said is just right. They added that this is where recognition of small and ordinary workers are first discussed and met.

“Giving additional benefits to complement salaries that have been left behind is right and just. In the context of a salary that can sustain a living and decent living, the current wage is very far from allowing workers to live decently,” they added.

“The resolution and any proposed law before the Senate and the Congress to raise the salary of workers and staff are right and just especially at this time,” they continued.

A resolution has been filed at the Senate to hike the minimum wage for workers to account for the rising costs of goods and services due to inflation, which soared to a record-high 8.7% in January.

Last week, labor group Partido Manggagawa called on Sen. Raffy Tulfo to not just seek a review of the country’s minimum wage policy but to also push for the passage of a law that will grant a P100 minimum wage hike for all workers amid rapid inflation.

SENADO also said they wish that the success that they earned will be the standard for all workers, in public and private sectors.

“May our success amplify the call and set the win for all for increase in wages and benefits as well as financial assistance for all Filipinos,” they added.

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