This is the reaction of Filipino social media users as Senate employees will receive one-time inflation assistance on top of this year’s government employee salary boost.
Senate employees will receive a P50,000 one-time doleout in August, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri announced on Monday.
The senator said that this is a response to help Senate employees cope with the rising costs of goods.
“Charity begins at home, so in the Senate, we make sure all 3,000 staff have assistance,” Zubiri said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Other perks of Senate employees
On top of the one-time inflation assistance, Zuburi said employees will be given an additional P20,000 in medical incentives in September, which will raise their medical assistance to P50,000 from P30,000.
“It’s expensive to get treatment and to have a hospital check-up nowadays, so we raised all our employees’ medical incentives and medical assistance,” Zubiri added.
The senate leader said the Senate’s savings will be used to fund these incentives.
Zubiri added that the generous increase in benefits for employees “should be the template” in all government offices and agencies to motivate government staff in their work.
Apart from these benefits, government workers saw a pay hike this 2023 as part of the Salary Standardization Law V.
Call for wage hike
Following the news about the inflation allowance, workers from the other sectors have also demanded a wage increase as inflation hit 8.7%—a fresh 14-year high in January.
“Wow…naol (sana all)…musta naman ang mga minimum wage earner na sumasabak sa traffic lagi… kumusta rin ang ibang workers na nakakaranas at apektado ng inflation?,” a social media user wrote.
“Sarap naman mag-work sa Senate. Kumusta naman ang mga minimum wage earners na nakapila sa EDSA Carousel kasi walang matinong public transpo[rtation] sa Maynila?” a Twitter user said.
“Exempted ba ‘yun hindi nag wo-work sa senado sa inflation effect?” an online user sarcastically asked.
“Lahat apektado nang napakataas na inflation! Kung tunay na may malasakit ang mga senador, they could have granted tax rebates sa lahat ng tax paying individuals! Hindi yun 3k lang na empleyado ng senado ang nakinabang sa P150,000,000! Besides baka di mga yan nakakaltasan ng buwis!” a social media user wrote.
University of the Philippines employees are also demanding a P30,000 emergency economic relief grant.
“Nakakagulat man na marinig na may ganito pa lang tulong na maaaring ibigay sa mga empleyado ng gobyerno, hindi naman nakakagulat na mayroon talagang pangangailangan na mabigyang ayuda ang mamamayan dahil sa hagupit ng inflation,” the labor union said.
“Ang aming isinusulong ay ang 30K Emergency Economic Relief Grant (EERG) upang maibsan naman ang epekto ng pagtaas ng lahat ng bilihin dahil sa inflation,” it added.
Zubiri said he is supporting plans to increase workers’ minimum wage.
“The (current) minimum wage is not necessarily a living wage. … It’s not enough. Everybody should share, including the private sector,” the lawmaker said.
“Since inflation is rising, we should raise the minimum wage of Filipinos to help them,” he added.
As of June 2022, the minimum wage in Metro Manila ranges from P533 to P570. This is just almost half of the IBON Foundation‘s recommended living wage of P1,161.