P30 hike too small, say Metro workers
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) yesterday appealed the Metro Manila wage board’s recent order increasing the daily minimum wage by P30, saying the hike fails to narrow the gap between the workers’ P426 daily basic pay and the daily minimum family “living wage” of P993.
“The wage board committed a grave error by failing to completely respond to the minimum requirement of P993 that the National Wage and Productivity Commission (NWPC) set as the daily amount needed by a family of six to survive and live decent lives in urbanized Metro Manila. This is why we ask them to reconsider,” said TUCP assistant general secretary Hernan Nicdao who filed the appeal before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-National Capital Region 10 days after the new wage order was published.
This is the second appeal of the wage order to come from the TUCP faction headed by TUCP president Democrito Mendoza and secretary general Victorino Balais. The other TUCP faction led by Ernesto Herrera filed its own appeal with the NWPC on May 24.
The TUCP petitioned the RTWPB on March 16 to increase the daily minimum pay of Metro Manila workers by P90 in two tranches, citing the rising cost of basic services and prices of commodities.
Mendoza said that if the wage board granted the P90 petition, “it [would have] narrowed the gap between the P993 family living wage and the daily minimum basic pay of P426 and reduced the misery that confound the thousands of minimum wage earners and their families to cope with the rising prices of commodities and services.”
“Hence, we could have happy workers motivated to be more productive employees,” he said.
Balais also criticized the “failure” of the wage board to rationalize in the new wage order how they came up with the amount of P30 and the board’s “hasty” decision hours after the third and last day of the public consultation.
“There were new and fresh ideas and numbers introduced on the last day by pro- and anti-wage increase groups yet the board came out with the decision just a few hours after the consultation was closed. Perhaps, the board might have missed important inputs in the equation. This must be explained to the TUCP as the petitioner and most especially to the workers,” Balais said,
The RTWPB conducted three public consultations, the last one in Quezon City on May 17.