BACOLOD CITY – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Western Visayas (RTWPB-6) will start reviewing the existing minimum wage rates in the region on May 21.
Labor sector representative Wennie Sancho said on Friday that they passed a resolution during a virtual meeting to proceed with the review motu proprio in response to the workers’ manifestation for a Pandemic Emergency Relief Allowance (PERA) of PHP25 per day.
“It is a welcome development, but there is a need to expedite the process amid the worsening pandemic. The labor sector is hoping that they will not be outvoted in the final deliberation,” he said.
In response to the board’s query, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) instructed the RTWPB-6 to review the existing socio-economic conditions, if it warrants a review for salary determination.
In Western Visayas, the minimum wage rate is pegged at PHP310 to PHP395 per day, depending on the industry classification as provided under Wage Order 25, which already lapsed in November last year.
Sancho said that during the board meeting on May 12, factors considered were the ramifications of the pandemic and restrictions that resulted in increased unemployment and underemployment.
Also noted was the implementation of flexible working arrangements due to the closure of many business establishments in Western Visayas.
Sancho said the deterioration of the workers’ purchasing power justifies the need for immediate economic relief such as the PERA.
“The amount to be restored in the purchasing power of the workers is PHP90 per day, but labor is asking for PHP25 per day which is only 38 percent of PHP90,” he added.
Sancho, who sits as the secretary-general of the Negros-based General Alliance of Workers Associations, pointed out that the rising cost of living, as shown in the increases in the prices of basic goods and services, is the main reason for the workers’ demand for another round of wage increase. (PNA)