Labor groups push P150 daily wage hike
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - October 24, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A petition for P150 wage adjustment for all workers in Central Visayas was filed yesterday before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-7 by at least five labor groups.

 

Cebu Labor Coalition, Lonbisco Employees Organization, Nagkaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa-Katipunan, Metaphil Workers Union, and Unionbank Employees Association are asking the wage body to grant another round of wage increase due to the soaring prices of consumer products.

The labor groups said that since the implementation of Wage Order number 21 on August 3, 2018, supervening conditions have been prevalent to warrant another wage increase in the region. The law prohibits wage increase within one year from the issuance of the last wage order unless it is justified by the presence of supervening conditions like inflation and fuel price increases.

RTWPB-7 recently granted P10 to P52 minimum wage increase to private sector employees in the region.

The petitioners cited the insufficient increases from the past, the reduction of the purchasing power of the peso, unstable oil prices, inflation rate, consumer prices index, R-VAT, increases in the prices of basic commodities, increases in tuition fees, implementation of the TRAIN Law, impending fare increase, among others as grounds.

Metudio Belarmino, spokesman of the group, said that the inflation rate in Central Visayas is already seven percent.

"The organized labor demand for a P150 across the board wage adjustment in the minimum wage,” he said.

He added that the current minimum wage does live up to the constitutionally guaranteed living wage. Based on the 2006 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, a family of six should have P842 daily income in order to adequately meet their basic needs.

The minimum wage in Metro Cebu is currently at P386 a day.

"This is far below NEDA's determined living wage of P842 per day for a family of six," Belarmino said.

Belarmino is hopeful that their petition will be taken into consideration despite the one year prohibition.

"Hopefully ma-consider sa board despite of the one year ban rule," he said.

Belarmino said that based on their computation, the presence of supervening conditions are very clear already.

"Klaro na kaayo nga naay daghang supervening conditions. Ang implementation lang sa TRAIN more than enough proof na na nga nisaka na gyud ang presyo sa basic commodities ug uban pa. Supak sad mi nga i-implement ang TRAIN Law 2 kay mas mosamot pagsaka ang atong inflation rate," he added.

"This new round of wage adjustment will provide the wage earners the necessary safety net from falling into the poverty mire and should be mandated and should be across the board," the petition reads. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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