Cebu News

RTWPB hit over ‘inaction’ on wage petitions

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) has assailed the supposed inaction of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-7 on wage hike petitions filed by various labor groups.

ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said RTWPB-7 appears to be disconnected from the needs of millions of workers who are trying to make both ends meet with their meager and eroding income.

RTWPB-7 has not issued any wage order as of this writing.

Five regions, including the National Capital Region, Region 6, Region 1, Region 2, and Caraga have issued their respective new wage orders.

In Region 7, the wage hike petitions were filed by LONBISCO Employees Organization (LEO) represented by its president, Alvin P. Pino; Metaphil Workers Union (MWU) represented by its president, Melchor S. Atupan; Union Bank Employees Association (UBEA) represented by its president Nicholou Malazarte; Paul Alvin Fajardo, CELAC representative; and Metudio Belarmino.

They are asking for a P308 daily wage increase for minimum wage earners.

TUCP asked for a P430 additional amount to the daily wage while the Alyansa sa mga Mamumuong Kontraktwal sa Sugbo (ALSA Kontraktwal-Cebu) filed a petition to increase the minimum wage in Central Visayas and to assert a P750 national minimum wage in the country.

For Class A areas, ALSA Kontraktwal-Cebu proposed an additional P346 to the minimum wage of non-agricultural workers, and an additional P356 to agricultural workers and workers in establishments with less than 10 employees.

For Class B areas, the petition proposed an increase of P384 for non-agricultural workers, and an additional P389 for agricultural workers and for workers in establishments with less than 10 employees.

Lastly, for Class C areas, the petition sought to add P394 to the minimum wage of non-agricultural workers, and an additional P399 for agricultural workers and for workers in establishments with less than 10 employees.

All wage increases would total P750 when added to the current wages.

The Labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) has reiterated its call for a P100 wage hike, in reaction to the three-year high inflation of 4.9 percent on April 2022.

Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson, said the P100 is wage recovery, not a real increase in salaries.

He said that from 2018 to the present, real wages have declined by a significant amount of eight percent as the rising inflation rate erodes real wages further.

Derige cited data from the National Wages and Productivity Commission that as of February 2022, the P404 minimum wage in Metro Cebu is worth only P371 based on inflation since 2018.

PM is also asking that an emergency session of Congress tackle a legislated wage hike.

“The regional wage boards are useless. Instead workers want Congress to pass a law mandating a P100 across-the-board wage increase, even for those receiving salaries above the minimum wage since everyone has been affected by inflation,” Derige said in an earlier statement.

The last time Region 7 workers got a minimum wage increase was on January 5, 2020. – JMO (FREEMAN)


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