Freeman Cebu Business

Labor groups pushing for release of ECOLA

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has urged the regional wage boards to issue Emergency Cost of Living Allowance (ECOLA) to cushion the impact of surging price spikes on workers, especially minimum wage earners.

TUCP President Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza said that this is to alleviate the plight of the workers, amid high inflation.

Mendoza, who is also the TUCP Partylist representative and House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, also called on the government to grant a BBM Ayuda Para Sa Manggagawang Pilipino (BAMP), which is similar to the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), for affected workers of firms that streamlined or closed during the pandemic.

The TUCP has proposed that BAMP should give a one-time big-time P5,000 government financial assistance to around four million minimum wage earners.

Dennis Derige, spokesperson of Partido Mangagawa-Cebu, said that any proposed increase in the take home pay of workers, be it in the form of ayuda or adjustment in the cost of living allowance or direct wage increase legislated or thru wage boards, is a welcome move in order to alleviate the plight of the workers and cushion the impact of high inflation.

“ECOLA must approximate the purchasing power lost due to inflation from the current nominal minimum wages set by the regional wage boards, or a portion of the gap between the nominal and real minimum wages, considering our predicament where all both workers and businesses are hit by the inflation as well as still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine-Russia war, looming global recession, and climate change,” said Mendoza in a statement.

He added that the BAMP is to help both workers and businesses amid high inflation towards pump-priming the economy through consumption spending for basic needs as we gradually build back better.

He said that now is the time for urgency and dispatch towards an immediate intervention to save our workers from the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.

“Our call in TUCP has always been clear and resounding enough with poverty wages, put life and meaning into the principle of true family living wages,” Mendoza said. —  GAN (FREEMAN)


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