Workers urged PRRD, create a body to study the national wage fixing mechanism!

Manila, Philippines — While the P25 meager minimum increase takes effect this month (November 2018), the 200, 000 strong Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and affiliates of Nagkaisa urge President Duterte to create a presidential commission to study the creation of a national wage fixing mechanism for the implementation of the constitutional mandate on family living wage (Article XV) and to strengthen unionism for industry and to enhance plant level collective bargaining.

The labor groups are also studying proposal in Congress for a national minimum wage. Save for some years, the last 30 years can be considered as decades of sustained economic growth for the Philippines but workers failed to get a just share of their labor.

The World Bank reported that though productive of workers increased in the past years, the real wage is stagnating or shrinking. Real wages stagnated at starvation level, especially for millions of workers at the bottom. The recent P25 adjustment for minimum wage in NCR that was approved by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) that takes effect 22 November 2018 is the latest proof of how wages fixed under this mechanism deepens inequality rather than eradicates chronic poverty.

In fact, the affiliates of Nagkaisa are of one opinion that the meager increase simply fits into the 1989 template created by RA6727 where wage hike is decided based on employers’ “capacity to pay” rather than on raising workers’ standard of living.

In the last election campaign, Duterte recognized that regionalization of wages as state policy is a failure, thus, he himself announced the need to overhaul the system. In the last February 2018 dialogue with FFW, KMU, SENTRO, TUCP and other affiliates of Nagkaisa, the president highlighted this problem and brought the idea of creating a commission to study the feasibility of a national minimum wage mechanism but until today no executive action has been taken.

FFW and Nagkaisa reiterate their call to act now on this national wage fixing mechanism and abolish regional and provincial wage fixing. Pursuing a living wage under the current setup is a hopeless case. Hence, our call to replace the current wage fixing mechanism with one that is national in nature and which criteria places living wage at the core. CPM

FOR MORE DETAILS:

You may call:

Atty. SONNY MATULA, Chair of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and President of Federation of Free Workers

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