MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang remains mum on the package that will be offered to workers come Labor Day, but President Benigno Aquino III said this includes the implementation of the next tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).
"Surprise ko sana sa May 1, especially for government workers, and substantial number of zeros,” he said.
He said the government is authorized to implement the next tranche of the SSL.
“Yung question na lang dito is kung kakayanin bang i-advance 'yung next tranche, which is the fourth tranche, of the increase. So makukumpleto na po 'yung SSL 3 perhaps one month earlier than originally planned, 'yung implementation," Aquino told reporters after participating in the crab harvest and attending the birthday celebration of Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, Jr.
He also said a meeting with labor groups is being fine-tuned.
“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 on May 1, Labor Day.
Spearheaded by Kilusang Mayo Uno, the group said the protest will center on the theme “Araw ng Paniningil at Paglaban.”
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 also set to be burned.
Among the calls of the militants are 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. – with reports from Henry Atuelan, dzMM and Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News