Labor organizations from the National Capital Region (NCR) petitioned the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) for a wage increase of PHP100 ($2). The public hearing, held at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), was convened to address the mounting financial pressure on minimum wage earners amid rising inflation.
The Partido Manggagawa (PM), one of the labor groups, emphasized that workers have lost P88 ($1.76) in the value of the PHP570 ($11.40) minimum wage since January 2023 due to inflation. According to PM Secretary General Judy Miranda, this increase is essential to restore the purchasing power of workers’ wages.
“This wage hike demand is merely wage recovery. We are not yet even talking of workers claiming a just share in the fruits of their labor,” Miranda stated, underscoring the plight of the workers.
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The public hearing, which was attended by various stakeholders in the labor industry, was part of the Board’s process of reviewing the existing minimum wage in the region. The insights and opinions gathered will provide crucial inputs for the forthcoming wage review.
Miranda pressed the need for the wage board to take swift action, citing the mounting frustration among workers over high prices and low wages. “Like Mayon Volcano, workers are restive over the high prices and low wages. The NCR wage board should grant the demand for a wage hike if it wants to calm the seething social volcano,” she said.
In addition to the Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa’s (Kapatiran) petition, another labor organization, Unity for Wage Increase Now, filed a wage petition last March 21, demanding a PHP1,141 ($22.82) minimum wage rate in Metro Manila.
The NCR wage board last granted a salary increase in May 2022, which came into effect a month later. Metro Manila’s current minimum wage is PHP570 ($11.40). Labor groups argue that the existing wage rate fails to keep up with the cost of living, further necessitating an urgent review and increase.
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