P430-increase in daily minimum wage in Central Visayas sought
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A P430-increase in the daily minimum wage is being proposed in Central Visayas.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is set to file a wage hike petition before the Regional Tripartite Productivity and Wages Board (RTPWB-7) on Monday, March 21.
If approved, the new daily minimum wage rate in Central Visayas would jump from P404, which is the existing rate, to P834.
Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza, president of TUCP, said it is high-time for Central Visayas to update its salary rates.
“It’s important to note that it has been more two years since we’ve filed a wage hike petition… and a lot has happened,” Mendoza said in Cebuano.
“Duha na ka tuig naungot ang sweldo. Unya ga sige ug saka ang presyo… Kinsay di ganahan ug umento,” he added.
(Salaries remained the same in the last two years. Prices of commodities continue to increase. Who wouldn’t want a pay hike?)
TUCP’s move came after the country experienced successive oil price hikes as a result of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
But the labor group, in a press conference on Monday, clarified that the continuous increase in petroleum products is just one of the many factors that prompted them to seek an increase in the daily minimum wage rate in Central Visayas.
Eva Arcos, TUCP Vice President, pointed to data and models from the government showing that rising inflation, and other crisis spawned by COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Odette essentially rendered current rates for minimum wage earners “unsustainable.”
Arcos also said that the existing daily minimum wage in Central Visayas is already below the poverty threshold, which is used to gauge if workers take home pay is sufficient to provide basic needs for themselves and their immediate family.
Based on the data presented by TUCP, a family of five in Central Visayas must earn at least P16,295 per month in order to survive.
However, workers can only take home as much as P10,504 based on the current daily minimum wage of P404.
“The poverty threshold in Central Visayas is not far from Metro Manila… We need to give our workers decent wages,” Arcos said in Tagalog.
They also added that workers will have to budget at least P15 per meal in a day if the present P404 daily minimum wage rate will not be updated.
“With the current minimum wage in Region 7, a measly P15 per meal can be allocated per member of the family which is P41.17 lower compared to the P61.17 per meal per person estimated by the Ateneo Policy Center using the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Pinggang Pinoy model, and the March bought by P15? Do our workers deserve just to eat nutritionally deficient foods while they continue breaking their backs to sustain and expand the economy?” Mendoza explained.
After filing the petition, TUCP is set to hold a public consultation that will be participated by the RTWPB-7 this Tuesday, March 22.
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