MANILA—A factory worker who received his wages in small change was a case of "taking a person's dignity away," Valenzuela city Mayor Rex Gatchalian said Wednesday.
The mayor is set to meet with the owner of Next Green Factory Wednesday morning after one of its workers received 2 days' worth of wages amounting to P1,056 in 5- and 10-centavo coins.
" 'Yung main issue na barya ang binayad, parang di naman ata magagamot 'to kasi emotionally na-damage mo na ang tao. Parang mas masakit 'to than physical abuse," Gatchalian told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(The main issue here that the worker was paid in coins cannot be addressed because you've damaged the person emotionally. It's worse than physical abuse.)
"This is about taking a person’s dignity away. Parang sinabi mo 'yung pinaghirapan mo ganyan lang ang halaga, singko at sentimo."
(It's like you're saying that what his hard work was worth only 5- and 10-centavo coins.)
The worker had complained of the factory's unfair labor practices, which was why he was targeted, Gatchalian alleged. The complaints included noncompliance with minimum wage and night differential, and non-payment of statutory benefits, such as PhilHealth and PAG-IBIG, the mayor added.
The worker sought to be paid in bills twice, according to the mayor.
"Sabi niya, nu'ng inabot sa kanya, 'Ba't ganito ang binabayad sa'kin? Sagot ng checker, ' 'Yan ang utos. Tanggapin mo na 'yan," Gatchalian said.
(When the money was handed to him, he asked why he was being paid that way. The checker said that was the order. Just take it.)
"Kung nadampot lang 'yun accidentally, eh di sana malayo 'yung halaga . . . So para talagang premeditated, para talagang pinag-isipan."
(If it was handed out accidentally the amount would have been far from his salary . . . So it seems premeditated, like it was well thought out.)
The employer could face charges for violating the Civil Code, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas circular limiting the number of coins that can be used in a transaction.
According to a 2006 BSP circular, coins in denomination of P1 to P5 can be accepted as payment in amounts not exceeding P1,000. The circular added that 1 centavo, 5 centavos, 10 centavos and 25 centavos can be used as payment in amounts not exceeding P100.
"Kung singko at sentimo, ibig sabihin P100 lang ang binayad mo, the balance di counted 'yun. That by itself is another labor violation," Gatchalian said.
(If it's in 5- and 10-centavo coins, it means you only paid P100, the balance is not counted.)