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TUCP: Wage hike call rejection ‘overkill’

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has accused employers and economic managers of “scaremongering” over the widespread closure of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) should a legislated wage increase be granted.

According to TUCP, employers and economic managers are ganging up in an “overkill” on the poor workers’ calls for salary hikes.

TUCP vice president Luis Corral said the massive closure argument is actually a camouflage to benefit big employers as there is enough support available for MSMEs, including the increase in consumption that comes with a wage increase.

“It is precisely the high prices of food and services, rent, and electricity that are now forcing workers to call on Congress to address their desperate situation,” TUCP vice president Luis Corral said in a statement.

He said the reality that millions of working Filipinos could hardly afford decent meals due to their measly income should not be dismissed or “backburnered.”

Corral reiterated the TUCP’s call for economic managers to work triply hard to address the soaring prices of basic goods and services and its impact in further depressing already-low wages.

“The call for wage increase months ago should have been a wake-up call to the economic managers to save the rapidly deteriorating situation of the majority of the working poor,” Corral pointed out.

“It is unfortunate that scaremongering against the badly needed wage hikes has become the default while little to no effective action on longstanding proposals to get to the roots of our surging inflation has been done,” he added.

Since late last year, TUCP has been pushing for a program to bring down food inflation by putting up as many Kadiwa outlets as possible.

The labor group also called on the government to bring down the electricity rates and grant Emergency Cost of Living Allowance. It also suggested the granting of a one-time, P5,000 government subsidy to minimum wage earners.

“All these proposed policy interventions, however, fell on deaf ears as our economic managers simply shut the door on these options,” Corral said.

TUCP also expressed full support for the immediate passage of pending legislated wage measures.

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