THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Northern Mindanao (RTWPB-10) has completed the first round of deliberations on the actual rate of minimum wage increase for workers in the region.
Although initial results of the review were not disclosed yet, labor groups are hopeful the wage board will support the daily minimum wage increase petition.
The Associated Labor Union-Trade Union of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) in the region formally sought an P89 daily wage increase on July 16, 2014.
If approved, the daily minimum wage in the region will become P395 for agricultural and non-agricultural workers.
Lawyer Gretchen Lamayon, RTWPB-10 chief information officer, told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday the final results of the petition will be revealed "sooner" and subjected to discussion from among different sectors.
The discussion will be held with the presence of the heads of the region's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), two representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), and two representatives from the private sector.
In a petition passed to the RTWPB-10, the ALU-TUCP justified the requested increase as beneficial to the working population amid the increasing cost of standard of living.
"The P89 daily increase is essential if workers are to cope with the increasing prices of commodities and cost of living, if they are to meet the basic needs of their families, even if only partial, and if the country gives meaning and substance to the policy of equitable distribution of income and wealth. The increase, small as it is, has been overtaken by increases in power and water rates, in health and education costs, the prices of oil and its products, LPG, and basic goods and services," the petition read.
"Prices of goods and services in the following months are also expected to rise by at least 5 percent which would require an additional P21.42 adjustment in wages considering the increasing prices of goods and services especially power rates because of the current power shortage in Mindanao. Also, the daily take home pay of wage earners are lower due to legally mandated deductions such as SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig contributions and income tax," it added.
Wildon Barros, Kilusang Mayo Uno-Northern Mindanao chairperson, told this paper that although they are pushing for the P125 minimum wage across the board since last year, they will also support ALU-TUCP's endeavor.
"We still want the RTWPB to say yes to this because it is for the benefit of our workers at the end of the day," Barros said by phone.
May 15 last year, the RTWPB-10 approved the latest P306 wage increase per day from P286 for the wage earners in northern Mindanao.