President Benigno Aquino yesterday disclosed a supposed “surprise gift" of pay hikes to be released by June and which he is to unveil on Labor Day for the nations 1.3 million state workers.
“It’s a substantial number of zeroes,” Mr. Aquino said of the fourth tranche of a pay hike under the Salary Standardization Law 3.
The 2012 budget has allocated more than P50 billion for the requirements for salary increases under the third and fourth tranches of SSL3.
The fourth tranche is scheduled to be released in July but Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told that the pay raise amounting to P2.7 billion for the 1.6 million government workers would be released on June 1.
“The SSL 3 can be completed perhaps one month earlier than the planned implementation,” said the President, who was here to celebrate the birthday of Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, a close ally in the Liberal Party.
“Surprise ko sana sa ano eh sa May 1 especially for government workers. And substantial number of zeros, this is already, parang we are authorized already by a particular law 'yung SSL 3” the President said.
He also said that teachers will be among those to be benefited by the good news as they are covered by SSL3. Aquino also said he is set to hold a dialogue with labor groups, the “nuts and bolts” of which are expected to be fine tuned today.
“Yes, there's a dialogue. That's... I think it's the very first activity. I'll be preparing actually for the dialogue. Last week we prepared, but by Monday, tomorrow, we're fine-tuning 'yung questions and answers and 'yung mga recommendations nila, 'yung research and studies na ginawa doon sa recommendations. We'll have the nuts and bolts by tomorrow,” he said.
The set of benefits, whether monetary or not, is being monitored by labor groups. They have decried the dwindling power of the peso. Around 30,000 employees from various sectors are expected to join the protest to be held tomorrow.
Spearheaded by Kilusang Mayo Uno, the group said the protest dubbed “Araw ng Paniningil at Paglaban” would “condemn Aquino not only for failing to deliver on his promises but for upholding the interests of US monopoly-capitalists, local big capitalists and big landlords on all major issues faced by workers and the poor.”
Programs will be held in different parts of Metro Manila before protesters converge in Plaza Miranda en route to Mendiola. An effigy of Aquino is set to be burned.
The militants are calling for the approval of the P125 wage hike, junking of contractualization, a huge rollback in prices of fuel products and the dismissal of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).