MANILA, Philippines — After the Department of Transportation & Communication (DOTC), headed by Secretary Mar Roxas, approved a 50 centavos fare increase last March 21, Malacañang has announced a wage increase for workers in Metro Manila to balance the interest of everyone.
Malacañang, together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has approved a 2 pesos per day increase in the wages of worker and laborers in the National Capital Region. This after a labor group filed a petition for a P90 daily wage hike.
Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, explained via a press release the science behind the rather miniscule amount added to the minimum wage.
“As you may all know by now, jeepney fares have increased by 50 centavos that covers the first 4 kilometers only and not the succeeding kilometers,” she explains. “We have scientifically calculated that a worker must take a minimum of two trips per day to go to work and come back home.”
“Malacañang was even kind enough to consider that some workers take two sets of jeeps because of the distance of their workplace to their homes, and thus a 2-peso increase was approved,” revealed Baldoz.
This development is a “win-win” solution for the government according to Baldoz, when they were hounded by non-stop protests from different sectors in a span of a week.
Protesters last week, invented a new form of protest called ‘noynoying’ to describe the President’s so-called work ethics: doing nothing. The President has proven before that the term was accurate, until today. It even garnered international attention via an article in Wall Street Journal.
Commuters for their part, has mixed reactions on the wage hike announcement.
“Mas mabuti na yun, kesa sa wala (Its better than nothing),” said a commuter, who works in Makati, and resides in Pasay.
“Bakit 2 piso lang ang idadagdag? Eh nakaka-limang sakay ako ng jeep papuntang trabaho araw-araw (Why 2 pesos only when I take 5 rides just to get to work everyday)!”, said Jimwell, a resident of Navotas, who works in Parañaque. He added, “Hindi ba dapat 5 pisong ang dagdag sa manggagawang katulad ko (Shouldn’t it be a 5-peso increase for workers like me)?”
DOLE was quick to point out that the fare hike approved by the LTFRB is provisional. Once diesel prices return to P45 per liter, minimum fares will be rolled back.
Meaning that DOLE’s wage hike is provisional as well. Once jeepney fares return to P8 per trip, minium wage will be rolled back. The 2-peso increase might be short lived depending on the oil companies decision on it’s increasing oil prices.
Finally, DOLE would also take additional steps and corresponding action when the petition of taxi operators to increase their flagdown rate by P10 has been decided.