Labor groups seek wage hike


The country’s biggest labor group will file a petition for a substantial across-the-board wage increase for the more than six million minimum wage earners in Metro Manila (National Capital Region) and in other regions.

The Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), through spokesman Alan Tanjuay, disclosed on Sunday the group, along with six other labor organizations, has filed separate across-the-board wage hike, ranging from P120 to P155.80 across-the-board for workers in Central Visayas.

Director Cyril Ticao, chairman of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Cebu, has confirmed that a P155.80 across-the-board daily wage adjustment petition was collectively filed by the Cebu Labor Coalition, Lonbisco Employees Organization (LEO), Metaphil Workers Union, NUWHRAIN-Montebello Chapter, NLM-Katipunan, and the Union Bank Employees Association (UBEA).

The ALU-TUCP, on the other hand, separately filed for a P120 across-the-board daily wage hike.

All petitions, Ticao said, have to be formally presented to the Wage Board in a public hearing, which is a requirement in fixing wages.

Tanjusay said ALU-TUCP would also soon be filing a wage increase petition before the National Capital Region-RTWPB as soon as the group finishes its ongoing study on the inflationary effect of the TRAIN law.

“We are studying well the inflation rate brought about by the natural law of supply and demand and the inflation caused by TRAIN. The amount will be definitely substantial, regardless of whether they will grant it or not,” Tanjusay said.

He said the purchasing power of wages moved downwards by 6 percent from January to February upon the effectivity of the Tax Reform Inclusion and Acceleration (TRAIN) law.

He added that in Metro Manila, which has the highest minimum wage, the buying power of P512 daily minimum pay fell to P357.29, while the real value or purchasing power of the country’s lowest minimum pay of P265 a day in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is now P152.12 a day.

As of March 1, the total purchasing power of workers for a month fell to P8,575. However, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the published standard amount needed by a family of five to survive within poverty line in 2015 was P9,064.

The last wage increase amounting to P21 per day was granted to minimum wage earners in Metro Manila on October 5, 2017.

Tanjusay said ALU-TUCP could simultaneously file petitions either through the 17 regional wage boards or through an emergency legislation via the House of Representatives.

The last time workers experienced a significant wage hike was in 1989 or 29 years ago when the late President Corazon Aquino gave a P25 daily across-the-board wage increase nationwide.


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