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Proposed P16K minimum wage for gov’t employees pushed in Congress

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

The House Bill No. 7196 seeks the increase of the monthly minimum wage of gov’t employees and nurses to P16,000.

MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc has filed a bill in Congress that seeks to increase the salaries of government employees and nurses.

The House Bill No. 7196 seeks the increase of the monthly minimum wage of said workers to P16,000.

The Makabayan bloc explained that Congress should prioritize their proposal after it doubled the salaries of soldiers and policemen.

The left-leaning lawmakers argued that raising the minimum wage is reasonable due to the increase in the prices of commodities and services as a result of the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Metro Manila workers to receive P25 daily minimum pay hike – TUCP

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018



QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Metro Manila workers will soon receive a P25 daily pay increase to their minimum wage.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) announced this on Wednesday (October 31) in a press conference in Quezon City.

ALU-TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said the employers’ group immediately announced the decision right after the meeting with the Wage Board.

However, the labor union is not satisfied as they find the wage increase too low compared with their original pay hike request of P344 a day.

The labor group argued that in reality, they will only get P25 from the additional amount because the remaining P10 is already covering their cost of living allowance (COLA).

“Nag offer kami ng P100. Ang employers ay nag-offer ng P25. Pero noong nag-deadlock, nagbotohan. Lumabas nanalo ang P25 dahil nagkutsabaan ang employer (at) ang government representative sa wage board,” alleged Tanjusay.

With the additional amount, Metro Manila workers will receive P537 daily minimum wage once the Labor Department officially announces the pay hike. This include the P10 COLA.

But for the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said only 7% of the country’s workforce will benefit from the wage hike in Metro Manila. The group argued that even how low the wage increase would be, such as the P25, such measure still have impact on the employers’ sector.

“Mayroong mga mahihirapan. Mayroong hindi kaya iyan (so) magsasara, may magtatago, mayroon hindi magko-comply. Mayroon magda-downsize, magtataas ng presyo, mayroon naman iyong ibabawas,” explained ECOP representative Sergio Ortiz-Luis.

For his part, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they have yet to receive the recommendation adding that he might announce the final amount of wage increase by Monday.

“Iyan ang sinasabi ko nga wala pang formal report coming from the Board. Kung meron mang ganung news ay baka leak yan ng mga members ng board pero officially wala pang sinasabi,” clarified Bello.

The TUCP, however, will appeal the new decision, and if necessary, they will file for another petition next month to seek for another pay increase especially because of the rising inflation. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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DOF: Collection of P2/liter fuel excise tax suspended for 3 months

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018



MANILA, Philippines —The collection of additional P2.00 per liter in petroleum products in 2019 under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will be suspended for at least three months.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua revealed this before the Senate Economic Affairs Committee hearing earlier.

The TRAIN law specifically states that the collection of excise tax on oil products will be automatically suspended when the price of imported crude oil reaches the 80 dollars per barrel level for three consecutive months.

“Yes at the very least, and we will base that on prevailing oil price,” said Chua.

But the group Laban Konsyumer opposed the said timeline.

“January to March of every year is the slowest in demand whether food or non-food. Talagang ang demand mababa. Ipapasok mo yung suspension ng excise taxes mapipi-feel ba ng mga mahihirap yung immediate impact,” said Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimagiba.

Senate committee on economic affairs chairman Sherwin Gatchalian is also not convinced with the DOF’s target.

“We would like to request for a suspension of six months at least, dahil yung first three months adjustment period yan,” said Gatchalian.

But the DOF said that based on its computations, the government may potentially lose around P41.6 billion in revenues if the suspension will last for several months to a year.

This would also affect more programs and government services will suffer.

To counter this, the Department of Budget and Management plans to implement budget cuts, including the procurement of new vehicles and other travel expenses such as lakbay-aral.

The budget for fuel subsidy will also be reduced.

The DBM, however, assured the fund allocated in 2019 for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipinong Program will remain.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), meanwhile, estimates that the country’s inflation rate will be reduced to 4.1 percent in 2019.

Based on their studies, BSP sees a point-two percent decline if fuel excise taxes will be suspended; and point seven percent if the rice tarrification law will take effect next year.

“If the suspension is for the portion of the year, the impact on inflation would be correspondingly smaller,” said BSP Assistant Governor Francisco Dakila.

Senator Gatchalian, meanwhile, plans to ask the DOF not to trim down the amount of subsidies appropriated for jeepney drivers.

The Senate will also push for a joint resolution in support of Malacañang’s planned order of the suspension of 2nd tranche of excise tax for petroleum products in 2019. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Diokno: Suspension of 2nd tranche of fuel excise tax may affect gov’t fuel subsidies

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018


Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

The government assured that it will continue its program that offers assistance to jeepney drivers who are bearing the brunt of surging oil prices.

According to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Pantawid Pasada Program, which seeks to provide a fuel voucher worth P5,000 for each jeepney driver, has been allocated with P977 million in the 2018 national budget.

In 2019, they proposed around P3.2 billion appropriation for the program in hopes of hiking the fuel subsidy to P20,000 for each driver.

But following the announcement on the early suspension of the second tranche of fuel excise taxes next year, Diokno warned that the projected budget may be slashed.

“As I’ve said, the Pantawid Pasada for next year is premised on the two-peso adjustment. Now, if the two-peso adjustment is suspended then the Pantawid Pasada benefits will be based on 2018 but that will continue,” said Diokno.

Diokno has earlier assured that the government’s assistance to poor Filipinos, such as conditional and unconditional cash transfer in 2019, will not be affected if the suspension of the fuel excise tax will push through.

With this assurance, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is confident that the budget for the free tertiary education policy next year will be protected.

“We will be in close coordination with DOF (Department of Finance) so that provision for education will somehow not be affected by any deduction,” said CHED Executive Director Atty. Cinderella Filipina Jarp. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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