Amid the rise in prices of food and services due to the implementation of the second tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, petitions for a wage increase are being filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) before various regional wage boards across the country.
TUCP on Tuesday, January 15, said it may petition for a minimum of P313 to a maximum of P355 wage increase despite strong opposition from employers and business groups. This is based on its computation as well as the current prices of commodities and services.
According to TUCP President Raymond Mendoza, the group was monitoring the movement of prices of goods and services following adjustments in the prices of diesel and gasoline effective earlier on Tuesday.
“We will be citing supervening conditions in filing the petitions. We are also going to test once again the capacity of the wage boards to remain relevant with its mandate to raise the minimum wage to an amount that can ably support a family,” he said.
Mendoza also said TUCP was strongly urged by its members and social media citizens to push for the abolition of differentiated wage rates and put up a single wage setting body that would periodically adjust the uniform minimum wage rate for all workers across-the-board nationwide using social and economic data in determining the amount.
In 2017, all 17 wage boards in different regions have adjusted the minimum wage rates from P8.50 to P56 daily wage increases, including Metro Manila with P25 daily wage hike on November 2018.
However, TUCP said that the current minimum wage levels, despite the adjustments, are still inadequate for workers and their families as inflation rate still stood at a high 6.7 percent.
It also urged President Rodrigo Duterte to approve its proposed P500 monthly food voucher subsidy to all minimum wage earners as the pay increases approved by businesses and employers nationwide remained inadequate to subsist on due to the extraordinary rise in the prices of goods and services.
The proposal, which was submitted to to Duterte on April 2017, urged the government to address the continuing inflationary impacts by providing a P500 monthly food voucher, non-transferable subsidy initially to an estimated 4 million minimum wage workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, for his part, only endorsed P200 to Duterte last June and is still pending approval from the Departments of Budget and Management and of Finance. n