By Leslie Ann Aquino
Labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) has thumbed down any increase in the transaction charges for automated teller machines.
In a statement, PM national chair Rene Magtubo said an increase would be onerous on workers receiving their wages through payroll ATM accounts.
“Charging P15 per withdrawal is already burdensome. Doubling the fee would be onerous on workers receiving their wages through payroll ATM accounts,” he said.
Magtubo added: “P15 is almost 3% of the daily minimum wage in NCR. Worse it is around 4% of the daily of a minimum wage earner in the Cavite economic zone. Doubling the ATM fee would mean banks taking 6 to 8% of the minimum wage of workers per withdrawal. This is highway robbery.”
He also reminded the banks that workers are forced to withdraw from ATM’s since salaries are now commonly received through payroll accounts.
“It is no fault of the workers that they have to transact through ATM’s. And of course, the most convenient way is to access your account is from the nearest ATM which is not necessarily one from their payroll bank. Workers would not want to waste time and fare by going to their own bank’s ATM if is one or several rides away,” Magtubo said.
“We call on the bankers to moderate their greed. Unlike workers’ wages, banks’ profits are higher by 26% compared to last year,” he added.
The group then called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to use its regulatory power to freeze once more any ATM fee hikes.
It also supported a congressional inquiry on the impending ATM fee increase.