CAR wage hike not enough

By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Anakpawis Cordillera maintains that the P15 to P25 daily wage increase for all minimum wage earners in the private sector that Regional Tripartite Wage Productivity Board (RTWPB) Cordillera recently issued is a far cry from what workers need.

Mike Cabangon of Anakpawis Cordillera said the wage increase is a far cry from the actual cost of living. “How far can P15 or P25 can go given the present prices of basic goods,” he said.

Cabangon reiterated that his group has been calling for a nationwide across the board wage increase pointing out that prices of basic commodities are the same or even more expensive in the interior communities in the region and in the entire country because of added transportation costs.

Cabangon reiterated their demand for a legislated national minimum wage of P750 per day. “Our demand for P750 did not just come from thin air but is based on the actual need of lowly workers to have a decent meal three times a day,” he said.

Director Exequiel Guzman of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Cordillera announced last May 24 that the wage increase will take effect on June 5.

The RTWB ordered a P25 wage hike in key town centers in the region that include Tabuk City in Kalinga; Bangued in Abra; Bontoc, Bauko and Sagada in Mountain Province; Lagawe and Banaue in Ifugao; Buguias and Tublay in Benguet raising the minimum daily wage from 265 to 290 for industries with 11 or more workers. The wages for industries with less than 11 workers will be raised from the present P255 to P280.

In Baguio City, La Trinidad minimum daily wages will increase to P300 (from P285) for industries with 11 or more workers and P285 (from P270) for industries with less than 11 employees. All the other areas except for three towns in Banguet daily wages will increase from P265 to P280 for work places with more than 11 workers and from P255 to P270 for those with less than 11 workers.

Guzman said there will be no wage increase in Itogon, Tuba and Sablan and will follow the present minimum daily wage provided in the previous wage order: P285 for industries with more than 11 workers and P270 for less than 11 workers. He said that the level of economic development of the three Benguet towns does not merit an increase at the moment.

Augusto Aquillo, board secretary of the RTWPB said they also issued a P500 increase in the monthly wages for domestic helpers that took effect last May 8. He said that house helpers in Baguio City and La Trinidad will now be receiving P3,000 a month while those in other areas will be receiving P2,500.

Aquillo said that personal service providers like family drivers, manicurists, body guards and the likes are not covered by the wage increase order for domestic helpers. # nordis.net

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