Denial of wage hike petitions slammed
MANILA, Philippines — A labor group on Tuesday slammed the decision of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board to junk its petitions for a wage increase in Metro Manila and Calabarzon, saying the government had failed to recognize how current salary levels can’t feed a worker’s family.
“By dismissing the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines’ (TUCP) wage petitions on a mere technicality rather than seriously looking into the issue of hunger in the workplace and in workers’ homes, [the board is] complicit in keeping our workers and their families malnourished,” TUCP president Raymond Mendoza said.
TUCP had sought a wage increase in the two regions, saying that the minimum wage of P537 in the National Capital Region and P400 in Calabarzon could no longer provide a decent meal for a family of five. The group asked for a wage increase of P710 and P768 for the two regions, respectively.
But because the petitions were filed within a year since the last wage hike order, the board dismissed them, saying there needs to be a supervening condition, such as a sudden spike in the price of basic goods and services, for them to be granted.
Mendoza warned that the decision will have “serious repercussions” in labor productivity and will result in the “stunting of the growth and full potential of the children of poor workers.”
“The capacity of the Filipino worker to produce world-class talent and skills is wasted when the current and next generation of workers have to deal with pangs of hunger and the struggle to feed their family. How can the government expect the people to keep up with the demands of a rapidly changing work environment when the future of this country go to school and go to bed hungry?” Mendoza asked.
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