Cebu News

Amid rising cost of ‘everything’:Labor groups seek wage hike

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Several labor groups and organizations will be filing a unified wage hike petition amidst the rising cost of “everything.”

“Yes, mo-file mi mga next week na kay amoa pang gi-review ang among petisyon,” said Jose Tomongha, chairperson of the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Mangagawa-Visayas and labor representative.

Tomongha, who is also the labor representative to the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board-7, said that their group, SENTRO, sees that “everything” already went up from basic necessities to services.

“Among nakita nga adunay pagsaka sa tanan. Tanan gyud grabe na ang pagsaka labi na gyud sa mga basic commodities,” said Tomongha.

He said that the P31 per day increase of the worker’s daily wage in Metro Cebu that took effect on June 14, 2022 could no longer cope with the rising cost of “everything.”

Metudio Belarmino, spokesperson of Cebu Labor Coalition (CELAC), said that CELAC, together four other labor unions, will file a wage increase petition next week.

“Between P95 to P100 per day ang among pangayuon nga wage increase,” said Belarmino.

Dennis Derige, spokesperson of Partido Manggagawa-Cebu, said they will also file a petition to increase the worker’s wages, together with  the other labor groups.

“Inflation ang rason ngano mo-file mi og  petition for wage increase," said Derige.

In an earlier statement, Derige said that the P31 daily wage increase granted last June 14, 2022 has been eroded by P51 from the P435 minimum wage in Metro Cebu as a result of the continuous rise in prices.

Derige said that the inflation in October reached 7.7%, significantly higher than the 6.9% in September.

The October inflation figure was the highest recorded since December 2008, which was in the context of the onset of the global financial crisis.

Derige said that the demand for a wage hike is based on an initial computation by the Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN-SENTRO).

Derige added that the P435 minimum wage in Cebu is actually just worth P384 by October.

“P51 has been shaved off the real value of the minimum wage and workers are now poorer by that amount every day. Before the P31 minimum wage hike in June 2022, the minimum wage was P404. Meaning, not only has the P31 been effectively wiped out by inflation, workers’ wages have pushed back even further,” said Derige. – JMD (FREEMAN)


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