Cebu News

4 labor groups seek P140 daily wage hike

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - At least four labor groups yesterday filed a petition before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board seeking for P140 increase in the daily minimum wage in Central Visayas.

 The petitioners include the Cebu Labor Coalition; National Union of Workers in Hotel, Restaurant and Allied Industries-Montebello Chapter-Alliance of Progressive Labor-International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association-Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa; Lonbisco Employees Union; and Cebu Midtown Hotel Employees-Union-NUWHRAIN-APL-IUF.

Metudio Belarmino Jr., spokesperson of Cebu Labor Coalition, cited the soaring prices of basic commodities that allegedly crippled the purchasing power of the workers as one of the grounds in seeking for the wage hike.

"So, angayan na gyud nga pasakaan ang suweldo sa mga trabahante labi na nimahal na usab ang presyo sa lana. Unya ang resulta ra ba ani kay mopasaka na sad sa ilang pletehan ang mga jeepney drivers," said Belarmino.

 Belarmino said that the recent adjustment in the minimum wage does not live up to the constitutionally guaranteed living wage.

 He cited a 2006 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority where a family of six in Central Visayas should have P842 daily income in order to adequately meet their basic needs.

"However, even if the demand for a P140 across the board adjustment to the present minimum wage of P353 is granted, it will only raise the minimum wage to P493 per day in Metro Cebu," reads the CLC statement.

Belarmino said the wage adjustments in the past were not sufficient to compensate the effect of the unstable oil prices, inflation rate, R-VAT, tuition fee increases, and electricity and water rates hike.

 "It is most respectfully prayed unto this Honorable Wage Board to grant immediately the P140 across-the-board adjustment in daily wages for all the workers in the non-agricultural and agricultural sectors in Region VII in the interest of justice and equity," the four-page petition reads.

  The petitioners said it is about time for the RTWPB-7 to assess and evaluate its failure to provide substantial and significant wage increase for the workers.

"If the government cannot fulfill its constitutional mandate for a living wage for a family of six, then at least it can restore the lost purchasing power of the workers through a new wage adjustment," the petition reads further.  (FREEMAN)


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