The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), the country’s biggest labor federation will file on Wednesday a petition for a P184 across-the-board wage increase for workers in the National Capital Region (NCR).
ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said that their petition was higher by P27 from their original demand of P157 daily wage increase because of the sharp decline in the purchasing power of the peso.
“We changed the amount from P157 to P184 because based on latest data the purchasing power of the present minimum wage of P491 has dropped to P357,” Tanjusay told The Manila Times.
The wage petition will be filed today at the NCR Wage Board in Malate, Manila.
In 2015, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) set the Poverty Threshold Level or the standard amount needed by a family of five to survive in a month at P9,064 or P393 a day.
Based on updated figures from the National Wages and Productivity Board/Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards and the National Statistics Office, the P491 daily minimum wage in Metro Manila fell to P357.09.
In the Cordillera Autonomous Region, the daily wage of P285 is only equivalent to P199.30 while in Region I the daily pay of P280 is only worth P202.17. In Region II, the P300 daily wage is worth P197.76, in Region III, P364 is equivalent to P244.30, Region IV-A’s P378.50 is worth P261.76.
Government defines poverty threshold as the minimum income required to meet food and non-food needs of a family of five including clothing, housing, transportation, health and educational expenses.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) estimated that 30 million of the 43 million workers are employed as contractuals who are paid the minimum wage.
Last year, the labor sector asked for a P125 across-the-board wage increase in the daily take home pay for workers in the private sector but it was rejected by the Labor department.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said only congress has the power to order a wage increase.
Bello pointed out that any increase in wages will have implications on the cost of doing business, production, employment and prices thus extensive consultations between business and labor and other concerned sectors are needed.
He cited the simulation study made by the National Economic Development Authority which showed that a P125 wage increase could result in price hikes, higher inflation and the displacement of 500,000 workers. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL