THE Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union of Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP) filed a petition for increase in the daily minimum wage for Negros Island Region (NIR) before the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Negros Occidental Field Office Tuesday.
The wage increase with different categories was proposed in the amount of P101.34, P90.61, and P86.87 per day for all workers in the private sector.
Noel Alisen, national executive vice president and chapter president of Paciwu-TUCP, RMC and RCI Chapters, was the petitioner.
He asked that the wage pay of workers in private sector in NIR be adjusted to P399.84 per day for commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees; P357.11 per day for plantations with more than 24 hectares; and P342.37 per day for non-plantation and plantations with 24 hectares and below.
He said that for the last several years, particularly in 2012 and 2014, the adjustment of wages from Wage Order No. RB6-No. 20, 21 and 22 did not in any manner answer the real needs of the workers in NIR.
Wage Order No. RB6-22, which granted an increase of P11.50 per day as wage increase effective May 2, 2015, caused negative effect to the existing wage pay received by the workers.
Alisen added that the real value of the peso or daily wage pay of the workers in the private sector as of 2016, is only P197.16 per day out of the nominal wage issued by the Wage Board effective May 2, 2015 of P298.50 per day or only an P11.50 per day increase from the previous Wage Order No. RB6 No. 21 of P287 per day.
The P11.50 per day cannot even pay the transportation expenses of an ordinary workers in Region 18 when one is reporting for duty.
Hernane Braza, national president of Paciwu, said Tuesday that supposedly the proper filing should be with the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in NIR, however, until now Wage Board for the region has not been constituted yet.
Thus, they were advised by Dole-NIR Director Johnson Cañete to file the petition before their agency for endorsement to the National Wages and Productivity Commission.
Braza, also the secretary-general of the National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (Nacusip), is one of the two labor representatives to the RTWPB-Western Visayas ordered by the NPWC to resign in view of the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte to presidential appointees to vacate posts.
“Amid the pronouncement of the president to nationalize the wage increase, we are still hopeful that the commission will entertain the petition,” Braza said.
Like his fellow labor representative Wennie Sancho, he believes that the courtesy resignation order signals no wage increase in Western Visayas and might be overhauled by the declared nationalization. (With reports from Erwin P. Nicavera)