Labor group seeks P100 wage hike

Philippine News Agency
February 22, 2021

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MANILA – A labor group on Monday filed a PHP100 emergency wage relief across-the-board increase petition with the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) office in Manila.

In their petition, Defend Jobs Philippines said it is time for another salary adjustment for workers since the last increase was given in 2018.

“The most recent wage increase implemented by the Duterte administration for minimum wage earners was done in 2018 giving workers in the National Capital Region with PHP25 per day,” it said in a statement.

The group added that under the present government, the minimum wage was only raised twice on 2017 and 2018 by 9.4 percent.

Christian Lloyd Magsoy, spokesperson of Defend Jobs Philippines, cited on their petition that the family living wage for a family of five nowadays has been estimated to be in the amount of PHP31,089 or roughly PHP1,022 per day.

“The current PHP537 minimum wage in NCR is far comparable and definitely inadequate to cope with the current family living wage. The present state of minimum wage all over the country is far beyond to meet this standard,” he said in a statement.

Magsoy said granting workers with new round of wage increase is long overdue and urged President Rodrigo Duterte and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to immediately and favorably act on their wage hike petition.

“Amid a national public health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that caused existence of various supervening conditions including the rising costs of basic commodities and services; record-high inflation rate; high poverty and hunger incidence rates; reduced value of real nominal wage; massive unemployment among others, we strongly believe that a PHP100 emergency wage relief across-the-board increase is indeed justified and necessary,” he said.

The group said it is “urgent and in high time” to implement the PHP100 wage hike for the workers to be able to have some sort of relief and cope up with the rising cost of living during this hard times.

Meanwhile, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) director Rolly Francia said it is the right of any labor group to file a petition pushing for a wage increase.

“That is their right to file petition before the wage board,” he said in a virtual forum on Monday.

Francia said the wage board will evaluate the petition and then will conduct hearings.

“It is the appropriate body of government to evaluate the merits of the petition. The board will decide if there will be an increase. So we just wait. This is the first time that we are hearing a petition has been filed. So be it. We just wait,” he said. “I don't think there will be opposition in the wage board not to act on the petition. The wage board knows the urgency of the petition, we just have to wait on their action.” (PNA)

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