HON. RAYMOND DEMOCRITO C. MENDOZA March 1, 2010
Trade Union Congress Party-List (TUCP)
TUCP-PGEA Compound, Maharlika cor. Masaya Streets, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel/Fax: (632) 351-3757/924-7551
TUCP: P75 wage increase for workers in NCR
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the largest worker’s organization in the country filed a petition for P75 across-the-board wage increase for workers in NCR. The petition was filed by Cong. Raymond Mendoza, TUCP Party-List Representative to the NCR Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board this morning. The current daily minimum wage in the country’s capital is P382. The last wage hike was approved 2 years ago in June 2008. TUCP has also petitioned that the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) now be integrated into the basic wage.
“Wage increase for private sector employees in NCR is urgent in the midst of skyrocketing prices of basic goods and services” declared TUCP Rep. Raymond Mendoza.
“Power and water utilities and oil firms are also planning to increase their charges and that would further erode the purchasing power of worker’s salary”, Mendoza added.
National Statistical Coordination Board previously said that incomes must rise faster than inflation to hold poverty in check
Consumer prices in Metro Manila rose by 5% from June 2008 to January 2010 and are expected to rise further by 9% within the period from January to December 2010.
“If wages will remain stagnant, then more workers will certainly slide to poverty and those who are in the middle class will become the newly poor” Mendoza explained.
The TUCP solon also noted that according to the Monetary Board and the NEDA, the country was not as badly hit by the international financial crisis. Latest NSCB statistics showed that 2009 GDP still grew by 1.8% while the country’s GNP rose by 3%. Although 2009 figures are lower than previous years, the Philippine economy’s showed resiliency in the face of economic turmoil.
“The economists of NEDA are saying that the global recession has ended, so be it if they say. I believe that the economy can afford a new round of wage hikes and I appeal to our private sector partners to be more considerate this time” added Mendoza.
Regional figures support the P75 increase appeal of TUCP. NCR Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) in constant prices increased from P220,972 million in 1991 to P468,382 million in 2008, averaging an amazing yearly 6.6% growth.
Mendoza emphasized that “workers have largely contributed to the growth of the regional economy and therefore deserve to have a modest share of the fruits of economic development”.
Of the P75 minimum wage increase, P19 reflects the actual increase in prices from June 2008 to January 2010, P35 reflects the projected rise in CPI from January 2010 to December 2010, and P21 indicates the 21 years that there have been no increases in the real wage since 1989. TUCP calls this as “equity supplement” to workers who have created new wealth but have not shared in the benefits.
“The quality of life of workers must improve as the economy grows. That is the real meaning of equitable development”, said Mendoza.
TUCP Party-List is also advocating for the revision and amendment of RA 6727 which created the regional wage boards and the system of regional determination and fixing of minimum wages.
“Regional wage boards must really be pro-active in favor of workers so that our working people will not be left behind” asserted Mendoza.
Finally, TUCP Party-List is pushing for the provision of “emergency allowance” for workers during economic crunch and calamities as well as “unemployment insurance” for retrenched workers.
Unemployment insurance can help unemployed workers get by while they are still searching for a new job.
“We need to assist our workers in overcoming their own obstacles in any way we can. Let us remember that they are the backbone of our economy and society”, Mendoza finally stressed.