La­bor group re­jects P16 wage in­crease

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - —STORY BY TINA SAN­TOS

The As­so­ci­ated La­bor Unions (ALU) has re­jected the wage board’s of­fer of a P16 in­crease. ALU spokesper­son Alan Tan­jusay said the work­ers who helped the coun­try achieve high eco­nomic growth did not de­serve P16. “It’s frus­trat­ing for us to file a wage-in­crease pe­ti­tion every time but the wage board will of­fer only P10, P15 or P20,” he said.

The As­so­ci­ated La­bor Unions (ALU) has re­jected the wage board’s of­fer of a P16 in­crease, less than a tenth of the P184 ad­di­tional daily pay the la­bor group is seek­ing.

“We urge the wage board to be rel­e­vant and re­spon­sive to the needs of work­ers and their fam­i­lies by rais­ing the work­ers’ daily pay to P675,” ALU spokesper­son Alan Tan­jusay said in a state­ment.

Tan­jusay said the work­ers who helped the coun­try achieve con­sis­tently high eco­nomic growth through their toil and sweat did not de­serve P16.

‘Frus­trat­ing’

“It’s frus­trat­ing for us to file a wage-in­crease pe­ti­tion every time but the wage board will of­fer only P10, P15 or P20. But ALU has to do this every time be­cause mil­lions of min­i­mum wage earn­ers are voice­less and pow­er­less,” he added.

The P16 is on top of the cur­rent P491 daily min­i­mum wage that 6 mil­lion min­i­mum wage earn­ers in 17 cities and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Metro Manila are re­ceiv­ing.

Tan­jusay noted that dur­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on Thurs­day, the wage board an­nounced it was amenable to grant P16 in the wake of the wage-in­crease pe­ti­tion filed by ALU af­ter the ef­fec­tiv­ity pe­riod of the P491 daily min­i­mum wage rate had lapsed on June 2.

ALU filed on June 6 a pe­ti­tion for a P184 wage in­crease to re­store the real value of P491, which it said had been eroded by 27 per­cent as of May.

“Records from Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas and Na­tional Wages and Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion as of May 25, 2017, show the pur­chas­ing power of P491 is P357,” Tan­jusay said.

Sink­ing pur­chas­ing power

“A sink­ing pur­chas­ing power of work­ers’ daily wage means low­er­ing of the qual­ity and quan­tity of nu­tri­tious food that is so vi­tal to work­ers’ pro­duc­tiv- ity at [their] work and to [their] fam­i­lies,” he said. “A low­ered pur­chas­ing power will also af­fect the health of the chil­dren.”

ALU placed at P1,200 the daily min­i­mum amount needed by a fam­ily of five to meet its food and non­food needs.

The Philip­pine Statis­tics Au­thor­ity (PSA) said in 2015 that a fam­ily of five needed at least P6,329 monthly to meet its ba­sic food needs and at least P9,064 to meet its ba­sic food and non­food needs.

The PSA de­fines food thresh­old as the min­i­mum in­come re­quired to meet ba­sic food needs and to sat­isfy the nu­tri­tional re­quire­ments set by the Food and Nu­tri­tion Re­search In­sti­tute (FNRI).

Poverty thresh­old is the min­i­mum in­come re­quired to meet ba­sic non­food needs, such as cloth­ing, hous­ing, trans­porta­tion, health and ed­u­ca­tion ex­penses.

P12,517 in­come needed

The Trade Union of the Philippines, cit­ing fig­ures from the FNRI Food Poverty thresh­olds in April last year, said P12,517 was the monthly in­come needed to meet the ba­sic food needs of a fam­ily of five.

Tan­jusay said ALU ex­pected the wage board to an­nounce the fi­nal de­ci­sion on its wage pe­ti­tion next week.

The wage board is com­posed of two rep­re­sen­ta­tives from em­ploy­ers’ groups, two from la­bor or­ga­ni­za­tions and one each from the Depart­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment, the Na­tional Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity and the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try.

—IN­QUIRER PHOTO

DE­MAND FORHIGHER PAY Work­ers com­mem­o­rate La­bor Day in Manila de­mand­ing higher pay to en­able them to cope with ris­ing prices.

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