MORE than six million workers in Metro Manila will get a P21 wage increase starting next month after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) agreed to raise the P491 daily minimum salary to P512.
The wage board announced the wage increase on Thursday after months of public consultations with stakeholders.
The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), which sought a P184 wage increase, said the P21 hike is not enough.
It noted that the purchasing power of P491 has been eroded to P354.51.
ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said the P21 increase is inadequate to meet the needs of minimum-wage workers.
The last time minimum wage earner got a significant hike was in 1989 when President Cory Aquino gave a P25 daily across-the-board wage increase nationwide.
Last year, the ALU-TUCP filed a P154 wage hike petition for workers in the National Capital Region but only P10 was granted.
“The P21 increase in daily wage remains insufficient for families to cope with rising prices of goods and increasing costs of goods. P21 is only 4.27% of the current P491. So it obviously did not lift workers out of poverty. Workers who helped built a high economic growth of 6.9% average Gross Domestic Product do not deserve this very small amount,” Tanjusay said.
“We have no other choice but to come and ask President Duterte to grant our long-standing request to him to provide a P500 monthly CCT-like cash voucher subsidy to minimum-waged workers who helped build our high economic growth,” he added.
Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod earlier said granting a P184 across-the-board daily wage increase is not possible because of its effect to business and employers.