Early Christmas benefits big lift for workers

November 15, 2018

CONSIDERING how small the pay hike was for workers in Metro Manila, it makes a lot of sense if employers can release their 13th month pay and bonuses as early as possible.

By doing so, a lawmaker said workers can already buy their needs for Christmas like food and gifts while prices are not yet exorbitant.

“Businesses usually jack up their prices when Christmas gets near to take advantage of the rush. Let’s save our workers from this inconvenience by giving their benefits and bonuses, if there’s any, in advance,” Quezon City Rep. Winston ‘Winnie’ Castelo, chairman of the Committee on Metro Manila Development, said.

Castelo noted that while there are companies that are generous, many are still waiting for December before giving the workers’ financial benefits.

“I hope these can sympathize for the current plight of our workers who are reeling from the effects of inflation on their families,” he said.

The lawmaker lamented that the workers got only a P25-increase on their wages, from 512 to P537 a day.  “What can that amount buy for them especially this Christmas?” he said.

Castelo agreed with other lawmakers that another round of pay increase is necessary to make the pay adjustment fair and reasonable.

“The rising inflation has already reduced so much the purchasing power of Filipino workers. They need a reprieve in the form of higher pay,” he said.

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The recent summit on disaster  preparedness held at the House of Representatives was a success.

Sponsored by the House committee on Metro Manila development (MMD) chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston ‘Winnie’ Castelo, the event proved its worth as a continuing effort to render the public ready to deal with disasters.

Dubbed “Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Congress,” the three-day conference sought to remind government agencies on their role when disasters strike.

The event was attended by top executives from the cities of Metro Manila, Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, barangay leaders, and non-government organizations.

“Disasters happen in our country almost on a regular basis because it is always visited by destructive typhoons and other natural forces. Despite this, many of our countrymen are still caught  unprepared when they occur, causing loss of lives and properties.

“This summit serves  as a constant reminder to our constituents and their leaders about what to do during a disaster and even before and after it happens,”  Castelo said.

During the occassion, Castelo also shared his own experience when he led several rescue operations during a typhoon that trapped many families in flooded areas in Quezon City.

“My experience only point to one thing. It pays when we are prepared against disasters,” he said.