Workers belonging to the militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PMP) rejected the offer of employers to grant a P20 increase in the daily take-home pay of minimum wage earners in Metro Manila.?
Edd Gumban
Metro Manila workers want P1,300 daily pay
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila workers yesterday insisted that they need at least P1,300 daily minimum pay just to survive.

Workers belonging to the militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PMP) rejected the offer of employers to grant a P20 increase in the daily take-home pay of minimum wage earners in Metro Manila.

Renato Magtubo, PM chair, said their group conducted a study that showed workers need a monthly budget of at least P39,000 to pay for basic commodities and services.

Of the P39,000 monthly budget, Magtubo said, 44 percent will be earmarked for food and 56 percent for utilities like electricity, water and cooking gas.

“Our cost of living study is in fact an underestimation as it does not provide for leisure and recreation, savings or social security which should comprise 10 percent as a standard or for a house help which is a necessity if the government insists that both parents must work to sustain the family,” Magtubo explained.

Thus, he said, the employers’ offer to increase by P20 the prevailing P512 daily minimum wage in Metro Manila can be considered an insult to the workers.

“The proposed wage hike of the employers will not make a dent in the daily cost of living estimate of P1,300,” Magtubo pointed out.

Based on their study, Magtubo said, a family of five in the National Capital Region needs P1,300 daily or P39,000 a month to live decently.

He said the consultation hearing conducted by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Metro Manila is obviously just a moro-moro (play) since Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III already agreed to the P20 pay hike offered by employers.

“Wage regionalization has been weaponized in the employers’ war to cheapen wages and increase profits. An evaluation of the policy performance of wage regionalization that started in 1989 will show that it has consistently resulted in measly salary hikes that are below inflation rates and disregards economic growth,” Magtubo said.

The rising inflation rate has eroded nominal wages and despite the stagnation of real wages, Magtubo said workers’ productivity is booming.

“From 2001 to 2016, labor productivity grew by at least 50 percent, yet real wages did not grow at all. Workers have been denied their fair share in the fruits of production,” he said.

As this developed, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said the labor group will not back down on its demand for a hike of P334 in the daily minimum wage.

“The P20 being offered by ECOP (Employers Confederation of the Philippines) is unacceptable, particularly at this point where prices are high and buying power of wage is falling.

Such a measly wage increase won’t uplift millions of Metro Manila minimum wage workers now living below poverty,” ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said.

The RTWPB in Metro Manila had set a public hearing today on ALU’s pending petition for P334 wage increase.

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