Cebu News

Labor groups to seek P292.50 wage increase

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Various labor groups will be seeking a P292.50 daily wage increase for minimum wage workers amidst the rising cost of basic necessities and services due to the spiraling inflation rate.

As of November, the country’s inflation rate was at 8 percent.

Metudio Belarmino, spokesperson of Cebu Labor Coalition (CELAC), said they will also ask a P1,000 increase in the monthly rate of domestic workers aside from the minimum wage for the private sector workers.

“Mao na na ang among final computations nga ipasaka unya namo nga wage hike petition,” said Belarmino.

He said their group might file the petition tomorrow, December 9, 2022.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Central Visayas last granted a wage increase six months ago.

The latest wage hike granted was P31 which took effect on June 14, 2022. Domestic helpers were also granted P500 increase in their monthly pay. What was granted, however, was a far cry from what the labor sector sought in their wage hike petition.

Labor groups earlier sought an increase in the daily minimum wage ranging from P308 to P430 and P1,500 per month for domestic workers.

Under the new wage order that took effect last June, the minimum wage rates in Central Visayas are as follows:

For  Class A (cities of Carcar, Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay and municipalities of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, San Fernando or expanded Metro Cebu) the minimum wage for non-agricultural sector is P435 from P404. For agricultural and non-agricultural with less than 10 workers the new rate is P425 from P394.

For   Class B (other cities not covered under Class A-Bais, Bayawan, Bogo, Canlaon, Dumaguete, Guihulngan, Tagbilaran, Tanjay and Toledo), for agricultural from P366 to P397 and for agricultural and non-agricultural with less than 10 workers from P361 to P392.

For   Class C (other municipalities not covered under Class A and Class B) for agricultural from P356 to P387, and  non-agricultural with less than 10 workers from P351 to P382.

Currently, the minimum wage rate for domestic workers is at P5,500 per month for chartered cities and P4,500 for first class municipalities.

In seeking for another round of wage increase, Partido Manggagawa-Cebu spokesperson Dennis Derige said that the actual value of the current minimum wage in Metro Cebu is actually less by over P50 because of the high inflation rate.

 Derige said that P51 has been shaved off the real value of the minimum wage and workers are now poorer by that amount every day.  According to the labor leader, prior to the P31 minimum wage hike in June 2022 the minimum wage was P404.

This means that P31 increase has been effectively wiped out by inflation pushing back minimum wage earners even further. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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