“Workers and poor people need a significant wage hike and price controls in basic goods and services as immediate relief.”
This was the statement of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno in response to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing that more than half of Filipino families consider themselves as “poor” and “food-poor.”
The survey, conducted from September 4 to 7, showed 52 percent (10.4 million families) of the respondents consider themselves “poor,” higher than the 49 percent registered in June 2011.
It also revealed that 41 percent (8.2 families) claimed to be poor in terms of food, higher than the 36 percent (7.2 million) registered three months ago.
“Pres. Aquino cannot deny any more that poor people are not getting any better, and are in fact getting worse, under his term. Recent surveys have all showed that we are getting hungrier and poorer – and we need an immediate relief,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
The latest SWS survey results are consistent with the hunger survey results released last month which revealed that the number of families experiencing hunger rose by 6.4 percent increase, the highest under the Aquino government.
Family needs P15,000 a month
The SWS survey also says that a family living in Metro Manila needs P15,000 per month to be above poverty. The current minimum wage of P404 plus the P22 Cost of Living Allowance only amounts to around P11,000 per month.
When approved and implemented, the P125 Wage Hike Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist and supported by KMU, would give an additional PhP3,802 per month to a workers’ family income.
“The P125 legislated wage hike, though still insufficient to make workers go beyond poverty, would definitely provide immediate relief to starving families,” said Soluta.
“We are calling on the country’s legislators and Pres. Aquino to prioritize the passage of the P125 Wage Hike Bill. This is one of the concrete measures they can implement to assuage the hunger and poverty in the country,” he added.
“We will continue our protests for a significant wage hike in the coming days. We have no other choice but to fight in the face of intense poverty and hunger,” said Soluta. Roger Soluta, KMU Secretary General