Pay increase sought for provincial workers after Manila wage hike
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Friday also asked the wage boards to consider possible salary increases for workers in provinces after a P40 daily minimum wage hike was recently granted for workers in Metro Manila.
In a statement on Friday, Pimentel asked how would workers in provinces be able to survive when their wages remain the same despite increases in the cost of goods and basic commodities.
“Paano naman sila? Paano naman ang mga kababayan natin sa probinsiya na kailangan ding kumain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw?” the Senator asked.
(How about them? How about our fellow Filipinos in provinces who also need to eat three times a day?)
“Hindi naman pwedeng ‘altanghap’ na lang forever,” Pimentel said, referring to almusal, tanghalian, hapunan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) — all rolled into one single meal.
(They should not be left to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a single meal.)
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Thursday that the wage board in Metro Manila approved a P40 minimum wage increase for workers in private establishments.
The endorsement would bring the daily minimum wage of workers in the non-agriculture sector from P570 to P610, and from P533 to P573 for those in the agriculture sector, service and retail establishments employing 15 or less workers and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers.
Several senators, however, noted that the increase is less than the P150 across-the-board daily minimum wage hike proposed by the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development.
Pimentel said the wage boards should establish minimum wages that are fair to each Filipino and allow them to “live a life of dignity,” as current minimum salaries are unacceptable.
“Today’s minimum wage rates across the country are unacceptable,” he said.
“To increase our wage rates in every corner of the nation today is a matter of social justice given the prevailing challenges of inflation and its adverse effects on purchasing power.”
“It is essential that these boards consider the economic realities faced by workers in their respective regions and take appropriate steps to help our countrymen who struggle to make ends meet,” he added.
The minimum wages in Metro Manila are usually higher than what is provided to provincial workers.
According to Pimentel, even regions near Metro Manila have a drastically low minimum wage — P46 for the non-agricultural sector and P430 for agricultural workers in Central Luzon.
In the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region, , the minimum wage for non-agricultural workers is P470, while for agricultural workers, it is P429.
Pimentel said this data came from the National Wages and Productivity Commission.