Workers seek P750/day minimum wage

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    TRADE unions and workers association under the banner of the Unity for Wage Increase (U-Win) yesterday filed a petition with the Regional Tripartite Board seeking an additional P213 minimum wage increase in Metro Manila.

    If granted, the minimum wage hike will rise to P750 a day.

    In filing the petition, the group said the current minimum wage in the National Capital Region (NCR) of P537 was not enough to cover the basic needs of a family living in the NCR.

    The minimum wage pay included the P25 basic pay increase and an additional P10 daily allowance granted in November last year.

    U-Win spokesman Charlito Arevalo said the current minimum wage is a far cry from the P1, 008 living cost for a family of five, or P19,400 per month to cover a family’s expense that includes food, housing, utilities and some medical expenses.

    “What we are asking for is a mere relief for the Filipino workers and their families, only to avail at least 75 percent of the daily cost of living. It is not even commensurate to our labor productivity,” Arevalo said.

    Citing data from the Ibon Foundation, the group said labor productivity in NCR grew 35 percent between 2009 and 2017, while the mandated minimum wage increased only 11 percent in the same period.

    “Last year’s P15 wage hike or a 4. 9 percent increase from the previous levels did not even make up for the 5.5 percent inflation rate in the NCR last year,” they said in their petition.

    Likewise, they cited World Bank Senior Economist Rong Qian who said there was zero real wage increase in the Philippines between 2000 and 2016, making wage growth in the Philippines the lowest in the ASEAN region.