CPP denounces Aquino's campaign of deception and fear against wage increases

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
May 02, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned Benigno Aquino III's rejection of the long-standing demand for a P125 increase in the daily minimum wage of Filipino workers as part of a "campaign of deception and fear against wage increases." 

The CPP pointed out that Aquino is trying to bloat the cost of a P125 wage hike by invoking the completely false assumption that 40 million workers stand to benefit from such a wage increase. Based on this bloated number, Aquino claims that a wage increase will cost P1.43 trillion.

"For sure, Aquino knows that the total number of formally employed workers in the Philippines is actually less than 4 million, NOT 40 million, as he deceptively claims" added the CPP. Citing a recent study made by the Ibon Foundation Inc., the CPP said a P125 wage increase will amount to P194.9 billion, which will make a 12% cut in the P1.629 trillion total profits of all enterprises employing these workers.

"Any economics student will dismiss Aquino's further claim that a wage increase will be 'taken out of the economy' as utterly stupid," said the CPP. "A wage increase, of course, will cut on the profits of the capitalists, but capitalist profits are not only what an economy makes. The workers' purchasing power comprises another big slice of the entire economy."

"Clearly, Aquino does not have any sympathy for Filipino workers. As someone who comes from the landlord class and as a friend of the big bourgeoisie, Aquino knows nothing about the sufferings of workers who have to make ends meet amid spiralling costs of oil, food, transportation and other basic needs such as housing, education and health services."

In the National Capital Region, the minimum wage is set at P426 per day, less than 45% of the P993 daily cost of living for a family of five. "The current gap between the minimum wage and the daily cost of living is almost 100% bigger than the P244 gap ten years ago. As a result, millions of families have fallen below the poverty threshold." As much as 70% of Filipinos are living at or below the poverty line.

The CPP further denounced the "jobs fair" sponsored yesterday by the Aquino government as an "insignificant side show." The CPP pointed out reports that of the supposed 300,000 jobs offered at the "job fair", as much as 75% are contracts for overseas jobs, "clearly indicating that the Philippine economy continues to falter and fail to provide enough opportunities of employment resulting in widespread joblessness."