FORMER Anakpawis party-list representative Ariel Casilao has urged workers, especially the minimum wage earners, to support the petition filed by the labor alliance Unity for Wage Increase Now (U-Win) at the Regional Tripartite Wage Board (RTWPB)-National Capital Region.
"The petition is another collective initiative of various workers' groups calling for a uniform national wage increase. In the face of skyrocketing prices of goods and services due to the effects of Train law, a just wage increase is necessary and imperative," Casilao said.
Ten groups from the U-Win alliance fileda four-page wage petition before the RTWPB Monday in Manila.
The alliance pushed for a P213 minimum salary increase, saying the current wage of P537 could not sustain the basic needs of workers and their families.
The groups said the living wage for a family of five should be P1,008, a data gathered from the Ibon Foundation's computation.[JAR1] The petition stated that the estimated monthly cost of a family's expenses like food, housing, and utilities is at P19,400.
Anakpawis led the filing of House Bill 7787 or the P750 National Minimum Wage Bill, which calls for salary increase during the 17th Congress. The bill was refiled by the Makabayan Bloc in the 18th Congress.
Raising the daily minimum wage to P750 will help workers cope with rising cost of living.
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) has opposed the wage hike demand, dangling the bogey of close-shop effect if wages are raised. Ecop said any wage increase is bad for business.
"Workers should not fret with Ecop's position, instead they should relentlessly push for significant wage increase that would benefit minimum wage earners. Workers should not be contented with the government and employer-approved 'salary increase.' They should exercise militant and collective efforts to assert for a P750 wage increase across-the-board nationwide," Casilao said.