Sunday, May 2, 2010

NR0524:Noynoy Aquino's counter-P125 bill

NR0524:Noynoy Aquino's counter-P125 bill
From the office of the late Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release May 24, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602

Rep. Noynoy Aquino spearheading plot against P125 wage hike bill and calling for P3.00 wage hike; exhorting Liberal Party members to vote against HB 345

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today blew the whistle on what he termed as a plot of a ranking leader of the House and the Liberal Party against HB 345, or the bill legislating a P125 across-the-board wage increase for all workers nationwide. Beltran said that Liberal Party leader and Deputy Speaker Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has filed two bills to counter HB 345. He said that Aquino, in a letter he submitted to all LP members in the House, exhorted solons to “maintain a critical stance” on the matter.

“It’s not surprising that Aquino – scion of a clan with an established reputation of being anti-worker and a violator of human rights—should come up with such a proposal with the end of throwing a monkey wrench in the campaign to give relief to the worsening poverty of workers. This kind of measure is to be expected of him. What is most infuriating, however, is Aquino’s determination to convince fellow LP members to vote against HB 345 and oppose the legislation of wage increases,” he insisted.

In the letter, Aquino called on LP members to support his two bills which he filed last May 4, 2005. In HB 4251 (“An act granting an annual productivity incentives to all workers in the private sector, establishing mechanisms for its implementations and for other purposes”), Aquino goes against the call for the legislation of an across-the-board wage increase and instead proposes a measly no less than ten percent (10%) annual productivity incentive bonus gained by any company or business establishment for every fiscal year. The amount of the incentive is to be determined by the external auditors enlisted by the company for such a purpose.

The veteran labor leader said that HB 4251 was nothing but an expression of Aquino’s bogus concern for workers. “The bill is worse than the proposals of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) for a P30 wage hike. In Aquino’s bill, a company employing 100 and earning P1 million annually will only be giving its workers a P3.00 wage increase.”

He also said that in his bill, Aquino was once more giving more powers to the Department of Labor to determine a productivity bonus. “He might as well have not filed a bill for a productivity bonus. Not only is the bonus pathetically small, it’s also premised on the honesty of employers and businesses to report their actual annual profits. DOLE inspectors and auditors are essentially useless when it comes to determining the financial records of employers and business: many of them are even strongly alleged to be in the payroll of managements,” he said.

Aquino’s bill also discriminates against thousands of workers, as it stipulates that house helpers, project employees (who are often casual or contractual employees), seasonal workers, piece-rate/piecework, pakiaw and other non-time workers; workers employed by retail service establishments employing not more than 10 workers; employees or workers in companies/enterprises undergoing receivership/liquidation from being covered by the productivity bonus. “Should this bill be approved, Aquino himself and his relatives and fellow hacenderos stand to benefit. Hacienda Luisita employs hundreds of workers paid on the piece-rate or pakiaw basis,” he pointed out.

In the meantime, Beltran said that he found nothing objectionable to Aquino’s other bill, HB 4252 (An act increasing the penalties for non-compliance of the prescribed increases and adjustments in the wage rates of workers, amending for the purpose RA 6727, otherwise known as the “Wage Rationalization Act”). The bill calls for the fining of employers and businesses who fail to implement any of the prescribed increases of at least P50,000.

“But in no way is this bill and its more notorious brother RA 4253 viable, neither doe sit offer moral alternatives to HB 345. Workers need higher wages, not just productivity bonuses. Aquino’s anti-labor character and orientation is asserting itself in this bill. No one has forgotten the miserable plight of workers in Aquino’s family-owned Hacienda Luisita where the management pays workers P9.50 a day.” Beltran himself has filed HB 4293 abolishing the regional wage boards, wage rationalization and scrapping RA 6727. He is also calling for higher penalties of not less than P100,000 for employers reported to violate wage orders and minimum wage laws.