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Monday, May 20, 2024

‘Hindi OA manghingi’—House Rep on labor day wage hike demand

2 min readDemanding a wage increase is not OA or ‘over acting,’ considering the prevailing wages in several regions in the country, Kabataan Party-List Rep. Raoul Manuel said during a protest held along Espana Boulevard on Labor Day, May 1.
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Published 16 days ago on May 04, 2024

by Marco Luis D. Beech

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Demanding a wage increase is not OA or ‘over acting,’ considering the prevailing wages in several regions in the country, Kabataan Party-List Rep. Raoul Manuel said during a protest held along Espana Boulevard on Labor Day, May 1.

He said that the proposed legislated P150 across-the-board wage hike is not enough but is still a step forward in improving labor conditions.

“Hindi tayo masasapatan sa isang step lang kasi nga ilang leaps behind na yung rate ng sahod na meron tayo,” Manuel told TomasinoWeb. “May basehan for us to say na kung merong across the board na increase, dapat P750 yon, hindi talaga yon malapit sa computed family living wage.”

Economic think tank IBON Foundation reported last March that the daily living wage for a family of five in the National Capital Region (NCR) should be at least P1,197 per day.

Across all regions, the NCR has the highest daily minimum wage of P610 pesos for the non-agriculture sector and P573 for the agriculture sector. Meanwhile, the lowest minimum wages are P326 for agricultural workers and P336 for non-agricultural workers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, except for Cotabato City and Special Geographic Areas.

Manuel said that Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is “acting like a deaf” in ignoring the people’s demands.

“Ang mas pinapakinggan niya ay yung mga big foreign investors na gustong buksan lang ang bansa para pumasok ang kanilang investments, para pakinabangan yung barat na sahod dito sa atin, kaya naman hanggang ngayon hindi nag cocommit ang administrasyon na taasan ang sahod,” he said.

President Marcos Jr. on Labor Day ordered the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards to review the minimum wage amid rising inflation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Party demanded improvement in working conditions amid the rising heat index and the lack of security of tenure among workers.

“Ngayon marami tayong pinaglalaban, lalo na yung [...] against violence in the world of work. Yung mga conditions, syempre magpatupad ng maayos talaga na regulasyon para sa mga mangagagawa na tinatamaan ng El Niño, o ng matinding heat wave ngayon,” Brosas told TomasinoWeb.

Brosas was referring to Convention No. 190 initiated by the International Labor Organization, which was ratified by the Philippines in February this year—the first country in Asia to do so. It aims to address violence in places of work.

Business and Economic impacts

While workers are seeking wage increases to restore lost purchasing power due to inflation, business groups and other economists have warned of the consequences of significantly increasing wages across the board.

The University’s Department of Economics chair, Assoc. Prof. Carlos L. Manapat, said last year that increasing the minimum wage might affect firms that are not earning much and may be on the verge of closure.

Last year, several business groups opposed the across-the-board wage hike proposal, claiming that it only provides ‘short-term relief’ to workers.

However, Manuel said that there are rules set in their proposal that will exempt micro, small, and medium enterprises from being affected by wage increases and provide government subsidies for support.

“Sa mga malalaking negosyo na meron talagang capacity na hindi sila malulugi, actually parang tatapyas nga lang ng konti dun sa super profits na meron sila, bilyon-bilyon pa rin ang maiiwan sa kanila kaya wag nila gawin scapegoat yung ating mga small at micro businesses,” he said.

Brosas added that increasing wages means increasing the purchasing power of workers, which is “good for the whole society.”

“Possible talaga palagi na magdagdag ng sahod at tingin natin mas makabubuti yon para sa kabuuan ng mga manggagawa,” she said. “Kasi ang ibig sabihin, dahil tumaas ang productivity nila, dapat lang ibalik sa kanila yon.”

Labor Day

Raoul Manuel

Wage Hike

Arlene Brosas

Gabriela Women’s Party

Profile picture of Marco Luis D. Beech

Marco Luis D. Beech

Reports Writer

Marco Luis D. Beech is a Reports Writer for TomasinoWeb.

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