MANILA, April 29, 2013— The government should increase minimum wages to help narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, a Catholic bishop said.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the country’s growing economy is useless if the ordinary Filipinos do not feel it.
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ social action arm said that a wage hike is necessary for the people to cope with rising costs of living.
“One way to have equality in the economic growth is a proper salary and benefits for the workers,” said Pabillo, chairman of CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa).
“It’s really one issue that the government should face this Labor Day if they really want an even growth for everybody and not just for the few,” he said.
Labor groups had called for a wage hike to help wage earners cope with rising cost of living. Moderate group want a P85 wage hike, while militant workers want a P125 hike.
According to bishop, the P456 daily minimum wage in Metro Manila is barely half of the estimated P1, 000 daily cost of living.
“So the minimum wage is really not enough if the government will not enforce wage increase,” Pabillo said.
On May 1, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will hold a Mass at the Quiapo Church to pay tribute to the workers’ “invaluable contribution” to the society.
This will be Tagle’s second Labor Day Mass since he assumed as Manila archbishop in 2011. Last year, the cardinal called on capitalists and the government to recognize the workers’ dignity. (Roy Lagarde)