Ka Leody urges DOLE to hasten wage review, increase minimum wage to P750
MANILA, Philippines — Labor leader and presidential candidate Leody de Guzman on Thursday urged the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) to hasten its review of the minimum wage and pushed that it should be upgraded to P750 nationwide.
This came after De Guzman welcomed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s order to review minimum wage across the country amid the soaring prices due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Sa bawat araw na lumilipas na ginugugol sa pagrerebyu, imbes na sa agarang pagtataas sa sweldo ay kamakaunti ang pantustos ng mga manggagawa para sa kanilang mga pamilya,” said De Guzman in a statement.
(With each passing day spent reviewing, instead of an immediate wage increase, workers have less to provide for their families.)
“Kaya’t ang minimum wage review ay dapat tapusin agad ng National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) para sa lahat ng rehiyon sa buong kapuluuan,” he added.
(Therefore the minimum wage review should be completed immediately by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) for all regions throughout the archipelago.)
He then urged Bello to instruct all government representatives on regional tripartite wage boards to push for a substantial increase after the review on minimum wage.
“Mismong si DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III na ang nagsabi na napakababa ng P537 na minimum wage sa NCR (na pinakamataas sa buong bansa). Iyan ay kongkretong katotohanang hindi na kailangan pa ng malalimang pag-aaral,” the presidential candidate said.
(DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III himself said that the P537 minimum wage in NCR (the highest in the country) is very low. That is a concrete fact that no in-depth study is needed.)
Currently, the petition to increase minimum wage to P750 is currently filed in NCR, and Regions III, IV-A, and VI. De Guzman explained that the basis of the wage petitions is the gap in wages versus the poverty threshold, consumer price index, and labor productivity.
“Salubungin ng mga kinatawan ng DOLE ang petisyon ng mga manggagawa sa apat na regional wage boards,” said De Guzman.
(DOLE representatives should meet the workers’ petition on four regional wage boards.)
“Huwag nang hintayin pang maghain ang mga labor representatives sa ibang mga rehiyon at itakda na ang mga hearing para sa panukalang P750.00 national minimum wage sa lahat ng regional wage boards,” he added.
(Don’t wait for labor representatives in other regions to file and set hearings for the P750.00 national minimum wage proposal at all regional wage boards.)
De Guzman then said that while he understands why Bello asked employers whether they can pay the substantial wage increase after recognizing the extreme low wages, he said that It would have been better to let the employers themselves speak for their interests.
“Dapat kakampi ng mga manggagawa ang DOLE sa pagprotesta laban sa starvation wage dahil ang ‘living wage’ nakasaad mismo sa ating Saligang Batas,” he added.
(The DOLE must side with the workers in protesting against the starvation wage because the “living wage” is stated in our Constitution itself.)
Much of the world, including the Philippines, is currently facing an economic turmoil especially in the aspect of fuel prices, as hikes are seen to cause increases in the costs of basic commodities and weaken the people’s purchasing power.
On Tuesday, oil companies implemented the biggest increase yet in the prices of petroleum products at P5.85 per liter of diesel, P3.60 per liter of gasoline, and P4.10 for kerosene.
According to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, however, hikes may not stop there as fuel prices may even go as high as P100 per liter if costs in the world market persist.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.