DOLE to review calls of labor groups on wage subsidy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 4, 2021   •   298

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it will review the proposal of various labor groups on wage subsidy in the private sector amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the proposal for wage subsidy is more viable than the wage increase proposal since employers may have difficulty in sustaining the increased wages.

Various labor groups have appealed to the government to provide workers with wage subsidies amid the economic effects of the pandemic.

Bello said he is open to discussing the said proposal and will coordinate with other government agencies to determine if the government will be able to provide enough budget.

“We will have an in-depth consultation with other agencies of the government especially for those who will shoulder the expenses of the subsidy such as the [Departments of] Finance, Trade and Industry, and NEDA. We need to know if the government can shoulder all of this because we are talking about millions of workers, he said.

Meanwhile, he expressed optimism that the Philippine economy will soon regain its strength. AAC

Labor groups lament Wage Board’s rejection of P100 emergency pay hike petition

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Labor groups have expressed dismay after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) rejected the petition for a P100 emergency wage hike.

The Wage Board released a resolution stating that it cannot take any action on the said petition because the matter is not within its jurisdiction.

“The said resolution cited a 2007 Supreme Court ruling stating that it is beyond the Board’s scope to grant an across-the-board wage increase,” the labor group, Defend Jobs Philippines, said.

Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson, Christian Lloyd Magsoy said the  group is skeptical of the Board’s statement.

“Skeptical kami sa statement nila na iyon dahil nga ang dami nang nangyari, ang dami nang naganap pero iyong mandate nila na every year dapat pag-aralan kung magtataas ba ng sahod ang mga manggagawa ay wala namang naganap na pagtaas ng sahod ng mga manggagawa (We are skeptical of their statement because a lot has already happened but their mandate for a yearly review on whether a wage increase is necessary, no wage hike has been implemented),” he said.

Magsoy also said a pay hike is needed especially with the increasing prices of commodities triggered by pandemic. He added that  increasing wages would contribute to economic recovery.

“Saan ba gagamitin ang P100 sa mga manggagawa kundi pambili rin ng mga pangangailangan nila na eventually makakatulong din sa mga maliliit na businesses natin (Where else will the workers use the P100 increase but to buy essential goods which will eventually help our small businesses),” he said.

For  Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), the P1,000 financial assistance provided by the government is not enough to sustain the needs of citizens affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Ang P1,000 halaga ng ayuda na ibibigay gobyerno ay hindi din sapat sa ilang araw na walang trabaho at income, (The P1,000 aid provided by the government is not enough for those without jobs and income),” according to Alan Tanjusay of the ALU-TUCP.

Tanjusay also said the government should begin its preparation for additional aid and more Kadiwa & Diskwento caravans.

Meanwhile, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has not received the resolution of the RTWPB-NCR so there is still no final decision on the matter.

“Ayaw ko na ngang pangunahan sila kasi eventually kung anuman ang rekomendasyon nila ay dadaan sa akin for final approval (I do not want to get ahead because eventually, whatever their recommendation is, it will still go through me for final approval),” Bello said in a phone interview.  AAC (with reports from Rey Pelayo)


DOLE eyes P7k to P11k ‘wage subsidy’ for pandemic-affected workers

Marje Pelayo   •   February 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is working on providing wage subsidy for workers whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic.

Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said the Department may cover from 25% to 75% of a company’s salary for workers on the condition that the company will not retrench its employees. In doing so, the agency will need around P62 billion to P88 billion budget.

“With the wage subsidy, we’re hoping that kahit papaano mabigyan ng ayuda ang ating mga establishments para makabalik na sa kanilang operation as the economy re-opens,” the official said.

“Then kung iyan ay mangyayari iyong mga trabahante nila ay magkakaroon na rin ng trabaho and at the same time income para meron silang panggastos,” she added.

The DOLE estimates that around five million workers from different sectors will benefit from the wage subsidy.

Tutay said they have submitted their request for the said additional fund as it is not included in the 2021 National budget.

“We based the budget on the average wage of the workers in different sectors kasi iba-ibang industry po ay iba-iba ang kanilang average wage — so it’s between P7,000 to P11,000 na subsidy and it will run for three months,” the official said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Labor group pushes for P710 wage hike for Metro Manila workers

Maris Federez   •   April 29, 2019

A labor group has filed a petition before the National Capital Region Wage Board seeking a 710-peso wage increase for Metro Manila workers.

The Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said the petition, if approved, will guarantee a minimum wage of P1245 for NCR private sector workers from the former P537.

“Hindi pwedeng noodles tapos dadamihan ng tubig tapos sardinas isang can dadamihan natin ng tubig. Para dumami para sa lima na miyembro ng pamilya. Ang sinasabi namin dito anong pagkain ng pamilya ang tama, sapat at nakakapagpalusog, [Living on a pack of noodles or a can of sardines added with plenty of water for a family of five is not acceptable. What we are pointing out here is the right, sufficient and healthy food for a family],” stressed Eva Arcos, the national vice president for education and information of the Associated Labor Union.

Luis Manuel Corral, the vice president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, also said, “nakikita namin na ang [we notice that the] inflation numbers at [and the] GDP data sometimes don’t relate to the reality of worker’s needs on the ground.”

The group based their petition on the study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Ateneo Policy Center that stated that a family of four must have a budget of P734 for food per day, while a family of five must allocate a budget of P917 for their whole day’s food consumption.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines, however, contradicted the petition saying it’s only been a year since the Wage Board has approved a salary increase for private workers.

The group is confident that the board will not approve the petition.

In November last year, the Wage Board approved a 25-peso salary increase for Metro Manila workers. – Maris Federez (with reports from Mai Bermudez)


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