“What is more saddening,” Gaite said, “is that the increase is staggered; the P1,851 ($38.41) increase for our clerks, street sweepers, and utility workers will be divided over four years or P462.75 ($9.60) per month, for all the four years from July 2009 which is the proposed effectivity date of the SSL 3. With the inflation rate remaining in double digits, 11.6 percent as of October, and the world economy continuously withering, that increase will mean nothing,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jossel Ebesate, chief nurse of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and secretary-general of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) said that even if the P1,851 increase is given today, the employees under the Salary Grades 1 to 9—which constitute more than 50 percent of all public health workers—will remain below poverty line.
“Using the October estimate by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), the daily cost of living (DCOL), is already P903.33 ($18.74). Meaning, a family of six, to be able to live decently, must have at least P27,100 ($562.36) each month. Clearly, SSL3 does not answer the workers’ clamor for living wage,” Ebesate explained.
To illustrate further, AHW provided the following tables:
A. Proposed Salary Increment for the Sub-professional Category (SG 1-9)
C. Executive Category
Not for the LGU workers
On the other hand, if the SSL 3 is followed in full, some workers in local government units (LGUs) will not enjoy the increase, as the League of Employees’ Unions and Associations in the Local Government Units (League) national interim president Alexander Trance told Bulatlat.