‘P125 wage bid unrealistic’

Posted on May 3, 2012

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Officials of the Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE-7) yesterday defended President Benigno Aquino III’s decision not to approve a P125 across-the-board wage increase.

In an interview, Regional Director Ma. Gloria Tango of the Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE-7) said the P125 wage increase sought by labor groups is too high and will only discourage investors from setting up business in the country.

Tango reiterated the government’s stance amid Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma’s appeal to the Catholic faithful to “work well” and not be satisfied with mediocrity.

The President earlier ordered the different regional wage boards to fast track the review of the different wage hike petitions and conduct public consultations. The regional wage board in Central Visayas will meet on May 10.

Tango also said the P125 wage increase will prevent existing companies from expanding their operations and may even result in some of them closing shop.

The regional DOLE-7 chief also announced that there were 301 applicants who were hired on the spot (Hots) out of 6,064 applicants who trooped to the four venues of job fairs in Central Visayas last May 1.

The figure only represents 5 percent of the total registered applicants. Despite this, Tango said she considers the job fairs successful.

About 30 of them were for overseas employment and 271 were for local employment. There were more available jobs for overseas employment that reached 24,000 as compared to only 4,000 jobs for local employment.

In his Labor Day message last Tuesday, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged employees to do their work well. He said work is synonymous with God and should transform every person into reflecting His nature.

“As we open the Bible, we are immediately introduced to God as creator, as a worker. As the image and likeness of God, man has a vocation to work also. Work is something that belongs to the divine,” the 62-year-old prelate said.

Palma’s message was read by Msgr. Cayetano Gelbolingo, vicar general of the Cebu Archdiocese, during a Mass for laborers and employers at the University of San Carlos-South Campus last Tuesday morning.

In his message, Palma challenged laborers not to settle for mediocrity in doing their works saying that God’s will exhorts believers to work according to His standard and example.

“Laziness and low quality of work is contrary to God’s will and contrary to man’s dignity. It is sinful. Let us spend our time and energy only for the work of God,” he said.

The Catholic Church honored St. Joseph, husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. Palma said people should draw inspiration from St. Joseph who worked as a carpenter in Nazareth.

The Eucharistic celebration was preceded by a “solidarity run” participated by government employees, laborers, and employers from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay. They converged at the USC-South Campus’ Rudolf Rahman Cultural Center.

After the Mass, a program was held that was participated by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and representatives from other local government units. /Jhunnex Napallacan and Ador Vincent Mayol

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