(File photo) Construction workers
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) is expected to finalize next month the amount of wage increase that workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) will get.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured that the wage hike for minimum wage earners in NCR will not be lower than P20.00.
“It could be a minimum of P20 or above. Ang ibig sabihin within the range na iyan,” Bello said.
But for the labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), a P20-pesos increase is not enough.
According to Alan Tanjusay, the group’s spokesperson, they will appeal to the Wage Board if the P20-increase pushes through.
ALU-TUCP calls for a P320 increase in the minimum wage of Metro Manila workers.
But DOLE said they need to consider all aspects that could impact other sectors of the government before they implement a wage increase.
“We have to balance the interest of management and also especially labor hindi ka lang pwede magbigay ng ganyang kalaki,maaring makakabuti sa manggawa for a while kasi ok tataas sila pero eh kung mag-close yung business e di mawawalan sila ng trabaho,” explained Secretary Bello.
DOLE expects a final decision on the wage increase on the third week of October.
For a minimum wage earner like Vic Arañes, a P20-increase would never be enough for his family of six.
He wishes it to be higher.
“Sana mas higit pa dun kasi mababa talaga. Kapos pa rin. Pinagkakasya lang naming. Minsan sa isang araw halos dalawang beses na lang kami kumain sa sobrang tipid kasi nga maraming gastusin,” said Arañes, a construction worker. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)