Wages for 10.3M Filipinos have eroded since January – TUCP
MANILA — About 10.3 million Filipino workers in the country have been taking home a daily salary with less value since January due to inflation, said an alliance of trade unions on Sunday.
In a statement, the Trade Union of the Philippines (TUCP) said the value of the daily minimum wage levels nationwide dipped by an average of P96.95 a day or P2,520 a month — an amount that could have bought them extra food or paid their utility bills.
Citing data released on February 12 by the National Wages and Productivity Commission, TUCP said the real value of the P481 nominal daily minimum wage in the 17 cities and municipalities in Metro Manila, for example, was P364.39 a day since January this year.
The nominal value fell by P116 a day or P3,016 monthly, added the group.
“The lost value of the daily wage can buy them a kilo of imported, first class, deliciously fragrant rice and three variant of pagpag food for one good meal the entire family have not eaten for years. But if we look at the entire value lost in a month, it can cover for house rent, or water and electricity, or tuition fees,” said TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay on Sunday.
Tanjusay noted that real wage was salary in terms of the amount of goods and services that could be bought.
He also pointed out that in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the current capacity of daily nominal minimum wage of P250 to buy goods and pay for services in the region was only P157.43, meaning that the nominal value fell by P92.57 a day or P2,406.82 a month.
“The difference between wage and cost of goods and services is shown in the recent government survey showing a combined 10.348 million unemployed and underemployed workers dissatisfied with their salary because of the rising costs of services and the increasing prices of commodities,” said Tanjusay.
The March 2016 Labor Force Survey showed that out of the 40 million employed Filipinos, seven million were underemployed while 2.46 million were jobless, he said.
“The painful implication is that there are almost eight million working Filipinos who do not progress because they cannot even afford the minimum standard daily cost of living valued at P21.28 for each member of family of five,” said Tanjusay.
The group called on the government to make growth more inclusive by “equitably sharing” the country’s wealth through consistent implementation of labor laws, stronger enforcement and regulation of prices of goods and cost of services. SFM
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