Labor group: Minimum wage now worth just P200
At a time when costs of basic goods and services continue to rise, a labor group on Saturday said it found that the purchasing power of the daily minimum wage further eroded this week to P200.
From P208.8 in June, the purchasing power of the average national minimum wage of P335 is now only worth P200, according to the moderate labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).
ALU-TUCP cited data from its monitoring of inflation’s impact on wages.
The minimum wage’s purchasing equivalent was much less than the P1,400 budget which the National Economic and Development Authority said that a family of five needed daily to live decently.
ALU-TUCP’s spokesperson, Alan Tanjusay, said the continuing decline of purchasing power was detrimental to workers and their families which could have a negative impact on productivity.
Inflation 5-year high
“What can workers buy for him and for his family with P200 a day?” Tanjusay said.
“We can expect unhappy and less productive employees in the weeks ahead,” he added.
In July, the country’s inflation rate recorded another five-year high of 5.7 percent.
To help stem the impact of inflation, regional wage boards had ordered an adjustment in the minimum wage amounting to as high as P56.
P750 a day
Labor groups, however, were dissatisfied as they pointed out that the increases were not enough to cover the high prices of basic goods and services.
Instead, the labor groups supported calls for the immediate passage of a bill mandating a P750 daily minimum wage.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier said officials of the department were already studying the possibility of providing nonwage benefits to workers.
He, however, did not elaborate on the proposal.
On his proposed P200 monthly cash subsidy for workers, Bello said it has yet to be acted upon by the Office of the President.
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