The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) has reiterated its call for a P100 wage hike, citing continuous increases in the prices of petroleum products and basic commodities.
“P100 is wage recovery, not a real increase in salaries. The rising inflation rate further erodes real wages. The National Wages and Productivity Commission’s own data shows that as of February 2022, the P537 minimum wage in Metro Manila is worth only P494 due to inflation since 2018,” Rene Magtubo, PM national chair said.
The wage hike was among the demands raised by the PM and other labor groups in the nationwide Labor Day activities on May 1.
The group also asked that an emergency session of Congress tackle a legislated wage hike.
“The regional wage boards are useless. Instead, workers want Congress to pass a law mandating a P100 across-the-board wage increase, even for those receiving salaries above the minimum wage since everyone has been affected by inflation,” Magtubo said.
He said P100 would not be enough to raise minimum wages to the level of the cost of living.
“A holistic approach necessitates a cash aid, price discounts and a jobs program in response to the spike in food prices. Families of the unemployed and informal workers should be given a cash assistance of P10,000 a month,” he said.
Magtubo also said Metro Manila workers last got a minimum wage increase on October 30, 2018—more than three years ago. The most recent wage hike was for Region 2 on February 4, 2020, on the eve of the lockdowns.
“The worst off are the workers in Calabarzon, where most factories are situated, who last got a minimum wage increase on February 28, 2018. None of the regional wage boards have done anything for the past three years since they are an instrument to cheapen wages,” he added.