Militants renew call for increased minimum wage

KILUSANG Mayo Uno (KMU)-Cordillera is calling the government and private sectors to increase the minimum wage in the country to ensure the quality living of all workers.

"We are calling the government to help all the workers in the region, and in the whole country to increase the salary of all workers," said Mike Cabangon from KMU-Cordillera.

Cabangon said ideal minimum wage for workers in the Cordillera is pegged at P1,119 per day based on a study as compared to P285 received by wage earners which is not enough to cover the cost of living.

"What would be the difference of the minimum wage in the region compared to the National Capital Region (NCR)? We have the same situation and we must have equal salary which is P1, 119 which would be enough to cover all the expenses and other needs of the workers," Cabangon said.

The Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board was created during the administration of former President Corazon Aquino to determine the minimum wage of each region. Cabangon explained the determination of the board should be same considering that all basic needs and commodities are with the same prices nationwide.

He said KMU and other labor groups are now calling President Rodrigo Duterte to work on all of his programs during his campaign period including the creation of employment and increase of wage of all workers.

The KMU representative added that workers are also beholden to their employers because of the practice of contractualization.

Department Order No. 174 issued by the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment recently prohibits and regulates labor only contracting but allows job contracting.

Cabangon said the 1987 Philippine Constitution provided that workers are entitled to security of tenure, a living wage and humane of condition of work where this must be followed.

A new House Bill 556 was already filed in Congress which will stop the practice of contractualization in the country.
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