Mayor points out disparity in order-A A +A
Saturday, January 19, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Mayor Greg Abalos said an across the board wage increase must fit areas appropriately.
Representative Ronald Cosalan, vice chairman of the Committee on Labor and Employment, brought the committee hearing of House Bill 375 here with chairman Emil Ong, Northern Samar representative, as well as sector officials to talk about the proposed bill.
The bill provides for a P125 daily across-the-board increase in the salary rates of private sector workers.
“We should review the impact of the Bill and the P125 increase,” Abalos said.
Abalos said the economic status of the areas must be taken into consideration, adding that some areas cannot comply with this simply because they cannot pay due to economic status of businesses.
Abalos said, “Nagsisimula pa lang kami dito. We ask that special attention be given to communities like La Trinidad.”
The Valley is an agricultural community relying on crops as a major source of income for a majority.
The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) drafted a position paper detailing how consumer prices have steadily risen at an average of 5.3 percent since 2001, yet the increase in average basic pay nationwide averaged at only 3.43 percent in the same period. This clearly highlights how the increase in prices of basic commodities outpaces measly minimum wage increases granted by the regional wage boards.
The paper stated, “The gap between the daily minimum wage and the family living wage (the minimum amount needed to meet food and non-food requirements as estimated by the government) has also widened over the years. In the National Capital Region for instance, this gap more than doubled from P257 in 2001 to P553 as of June 2010. Currently, only 40 percent of the P957 estimated family living wage in NCR is being met by the P404 minimum wage in the region.”
After the P8 wage increase in 2012 minimum wage for non-agricultural workers in Baguio City and the municipalities of La Trinidad, Tuba, Itogon and Sablan (BLIST) in the province of Benguet to P280 per day, while its agriculture workers receive P262 per day, non-agriculture workers in Mt. Province, Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Apayao provinces will receive P263, while agriculture workers get P246.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 19, 2013.