THE P75 wage increase filed by a labor group got a boost from Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez (second district), who sees salary hike among Northern Mindanao’s workers as “long overdue.”

“With the spiraling cost of petroleum products, thereby affecting the prices of basic commodities, workers also need to regain their lost purchasing power,” Rodriguez told Sun.Star in a phone interview.

"The Manny Pacquiao Blog". Click here for stories and updates on the Filipino boxing champ.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) called on the P75 across-the-board daily wage hike for private sector workers in Northern Mindanao late last week.

TUCP’s wage hike bid comes at a time when industrial plants are cutting production due to the current energy shortage. The Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce had no immediate comment on the petition.

Rodriguez said the TUCP’s call for salary increase was valid.

“It is but a good move by TUCP and I agree with the P75 daily wage increase and hopefully that will be given,” the lawmaker said.

TUCP party-list Representative Raymond Mendoza should be lauded for giving importance on the state of the Filipino workers, especially in Northern Mindanao, ha added.

Mendoza, who led the filing of last Thursday petition before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-X), argued that an increase was timely, given the “significant rise” in the prices of basic commodities for the last two years.

“The last increase given by RTWPB was in 2008, which was a mere P12 given as cost of living allowance (Cola). That increase has been overtaken by the continuing increases in the prices of petroleum products, basic good and services, and transportation fares,” Mendoza told local journalists.

Currently, private workers in Northern Mindanao are receiving a minimum daily wage of P256 per day. The proposed P75 increase would make that P331 per day, which the TUCP hopes to be implemented on May 1, Labor Day.

Rodriguez called on RTWPB-X to “take action” on TUCP’s petition “by giving it a positive response.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) assured that RTWP is reviewing the petition of the workers’ group, though it said the petition per se will not be the only basis when its wage board decides on it.

Dole said wage boards also have to strike a balance between providing a decent standard of living for workers and ensuring the capacity of the economy to absorb the wage adjustments, including the viability of business, especially small and medium enterprises. (ALR)