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Workers’ group asks government to lower cost of living

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
Workersâ group asks government to lower cost of living
“It is not difficult to imagine. With enough political will, the government could easily do this by immediately cracking down on overpricing, lowering the cost of electricity and rolling out service contracting for public transportation to mitigate the oil price hikes,” labor group SENTRO said.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Following the grant of a “measly” salary increase for minimum wage earners, organized labor groups yesterday urged the government to lower the cost of living.

“It is not difficult to imagine. With enough political will, the government could easily do this by immediately cracking down on overpricing, lowering the cost of electricity and rolling out service contracting for public transportation to mitigate the oil price hikes,” labor group SENTRO said.

SENTRO demanded the immediate abolition of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs), which it said failed the minimum wage earners.

The group said the wage adjustment granted by the RTWPB in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Western Visayas is not enough for workers to recover from the eroded purchasing power.

“The effective implementation of the increase is also riddled with uncertainty because of too many exemptions. It is time to replace the regional wage-setting mechanisms,” SENTRO said.

National Wages and Productivity Commission executive director Criselda Sy said the NWPC is ready to provide assistance in any move to review the existing Wage Rationalization Act.

Sy said the NCR and Western Visayas wage boards conducted a thorough review before coming out with the new wage orders.

She said that retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 employees as well as those affected by natural calamities and pandemic may apply for exemption from granting salary hike.

Establishments with an exemption that is valid for a year should pay their workers with prescribed and applicable wage rates as provided under the previous wage order.

The new wage orders will take effect 15 days from publication in national newspapers or by early June.

SENTRO

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