BACOLOD

Labor eyes P73 wage hike in Western Visayas

LOCAL labor groups are filing a petition for a P73 daily minimum wage increase for private sector workers in Western Visayas.

Wennie Sancho, secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), said they are filing the petition before the expiration of Wage Order No. 24 on July this year.

"A formal petition for wage increase will be filed this June," Sancho, also the labor representative to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas, said.

On July 12, 2018, minimum wage earners in Western Visayas started receiving an additional pay of P13.50 to P41.50 per day, a month after Wage Order No. 24 was signed on June 11 by the members of the Board.

Under the existing order, new minimum wage rates in the region which include the cost of living allowance (Cola) are P295 and P365 per day.

Unlike the previous order, it provided only two wage rates depending on various classifications or categories.

Workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees are receiving a minimum wage of P365 per day.

From the previous P323.50, the RTWPB-Western Visayas came up with an increase of P26.50 on basic wage plus a Cola of P15.

All in all, the increase in this classification was P41.50.

Those employing 10 workers and below, the existing wage rate is P295 from only P271.50. It was derived from an increase of P18.50 plus a Cola of P5, or a total of P23.50.

For agriculture sector, plantation workers received P8.50 increase and Cola of P5, thus, the existing wage rate is P295. This is P13.50 higher than the previous rate of P281.50.

Those in non-plantations, the existing wage rate is also P295 from the previous P271.50 due to a basic wage increase of P18.50 and P5 worth of Cola, or a total of P23.50.

Sancho earlier said the wage adjustment was still so far below the mandated living wage.

He said the labor was able to get at least 27 percent of the petitioned amount and 13 percent increase on minimum wage.

In January 2018, the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP) filed a petition seeking for a P130 to P150 increase depending on the worker's classification.

Sancho added the new petition for wage increase is one of the major concerns to be discussed during a forum to be conducted in Bacolod City on the commemoration of the International Labor Day on Wednesday, May 1.

Others are proliferation of Chinese workers in the country particularly in Manila and Panay Island especially Boracay, and the P4,000 new monthly wage rate for "kasambahays" (house helpers) effective starting May 8 this year.

"The right to work of the Filipino workers was stolen from them by the Chinese and the government is not lifting a finger to have a crackdown on illegal foreign workers coming in as tourists but were given priorities as workers," he said.

Sancho earlier told SunStar Bacolod that Gawa along with Save the Sugar Industry Movement (SSIM) will also launch the Sugar Watch Philippines.

The movement, which is national in scope, will serve as watchdog and guardian of the sugar industry to resist, oppose and prevent the implementation of sugar import deregulation, he said.


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