ILOILO CITY – Government employees, teachers and militant group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Panay protested at the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regional office 6 on Friday and called for ‘substantial and adequate’ salary increase. 

The teachers and government employees belong to All Workers Unity (AWU), an alliance of private and public workers that call for government action to end all forms of contractualization in all workplaces. KMU is an organization representing workers from various unions and associations.

The AWU and KMU are demanding Php16,000 national minimum wage for all government employees, an amount the groups considered adequate and substantial for a family of six members. 

The Duterte government on April has nailed the threshold of Php10,481 to meet food and non-food needs of a family. Labor groups and welfare advocates have criticized President Duterte for the ‘non-realistic’ threshold that translates to a measly Php338 per day for an entire family.

DBM officials were compelled to dialogue with the government employees and workers and told them that they are not able to decide on the increase as their national office is responsible for the concern.

The teachers who joined the protest filed a copy of a petition asking immediate implementation of the salary increase with signatures of thousands of teachers in Iloilo City.

They workers condemned the Duterte government’s inaction to increase the salary of teachers, nurses, doctors, and rank and file government employees.

Despite Duterte’s ‘promises’ of salary increase to all government employees, only the police and military received hefty funding allocations.

Duterte’s move has been criticized as favoring only the armed personnel and leaving rank and employees behind.

The employees and KMU have vowed participation to the massive protests set on Monday, July 22 at Iloilo City during the president’s state of the nation address./


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