Mayor Gatchalian probes employer who gave factory worker's salary in centavo coins

MANILA, Philippines – Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian assured that he will investigate the "cruel and unusual" labor practice of a factory owner after a worker complained of receiving his salary in centavo coins.

employer who gave factory worker's salary in centavo coins
Mayor Rex Gatchalian meets with factory worker and the Next Green factory's representative | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Valenzuela City

Gatchalian promised that he will "get to the bottom" of a complaint forwarded to him against the owners of Next Green Factory after they gave its worker's salary amounting to P1,056 all in all in 5- and 10-centavos coins.

He wrote on Facebook, "I'll face the owner himself with the concerned worker on Wednesday. Sending a company representative won't cut it for me. I'll see to it that we get to the bottom of this 'cruel and unusual' labor practice and deal with it accordingly."

Earlier, a netizen reached out to Gatchalian on Facebook to seek assistance after his cousin who worked at Next Green Factory received plastic bags full of centavo coins as payment for his two days of service. She said that the act was rude and disrespectful to the hardworking factory worker.

Concern ko lang po Mayor REX Gatchalian bkit Ganito naman po ung Pasahod sa pinsan ko sa Pabrika Canumay West (NEXT...

Posted by Odniemrud Eniger on Saturday, June 26, 2021

She stated, "Concern ko lang po Mayor REX Gatchalian bakit Ganito naman po ying pasahod sa pinsan ko sa Pabrika Canumay West (NEXT GREEN) yung pangalan ng pabrika. Sobrang pambabastos po talaga to sa pinsan ko na ganito ang sinasahod puro CENTIMO binigay sa kaniya. 12 hrs yung duty tapos P528 lang sahod sa kanila. Sobrang nakakabastos po talaga tong ginagawa nila! Sana naman po magawan ng aksyon itong kumpanya na to sa ginawa nila sa pinsan ko. Sobra sobra tong di magandang ginawa sa kaniya pinahirapan kunin ang sahod tops CENTIMO pa po ang binigay sa kanyang sahod."

After the post went viral, Gatchalian met with a representative of Next Green factory and the worker who complained. However, the city mayor said he wants to meet the factory owners themselves who are currently out of town. According to him, industry workers "should be treated accordingly and not be demoralized."

The local chief believes that the act was intentional and was a form of “retribution” made by the owners. Upon his interview with the factory worker, he admitted that he kept on pointing out the factory's alleged unfair labor practices, some of which included underpayment and lack of government benefits and more.

“So when he complained, the owner did this as a retribution,” Gatchalian said. “In fact, when he received the money, he was even told that that was his salary.”

The factory owner's representative denied the accusations and the coins were actually just a donation and given to him accidentally.

Gatchalian issued a warning that he will not hesitate to order the factory owner to pick the centavo coins one by one from Valenzuela City Police Station to Valenzuela City Hall.

“Ang manggagawa hindi dapat ginaganyan, hindi dapat kinakawawa,” the mayor said.

“There’s dignity in working. There’s dignity in getting paid. He worked hard for that so it should not come in that form,” he added.

Under Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 537, Series of 2006, coins in denomination of P1 to P5 shall be legal tender in amounts as long as it does not exceed P1,000. Meanwhile, P0.01 to .05, 0.10 to 0.25 and 0.25 centavo shall be legal tender in the amount not exceeding P100.00."

— Sally, The Summit Express

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