Workers demand P750 daily minimum wage

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LESS than a week before this year’s commemoration of Labor Day, workers from the Marikina East Labor Association (MELA) on Thursday staged a protest action in front of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to press for a P750 daily minimum wage.

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MELA spokesman Evangeline Victorino said the P750 national minimum wage is just and can be granted by the government.

She noted that workers’ salary at present is not enough to support the needs of his or her family.

Though the government recognizes that the minimum wage is insufficient, Victorino said, it still has failed to raise the daily take home pay to a significant level.

In the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila), the minimum wage is P480 a day.

According to independent research group IBON Foundation, a worker should earn at least P1,088 per day for a family of six to have a decent living.

“We stand firm that our proposed daily minimum wage should be implemented nationwide as workers from the Visayas and Mindanao also suffer from the onslaught of exorbitant prices of basic goods and services. In fact, workers from regions get less salary compared to the NCR-based workers due to the implementation of RA [Republic Act] 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act enacted under the first Aquino government. The law gave the Regional Wage Boards power to determine the supposed ideal salary in the regions, thus decimating the national minimum wage,” Victorino said.

In the Ilocos Region, workers only receive a daily take home pay of P227.00 and P253.00 according to National Wages and Productivity data.

Also, in Mindanao for example, agricultural workers inside DOLE-Stanfilco get a daily take home pay of P291 or P1,700 in 15 days.

But with deductions, the 15-day pay is reduced to P1,100, Victorino said.

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