The country’s biggest labor group, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, slammed the Department of Labor and Employment for its quick decision to dismiss a P710 daily wage increase petition without even assessing the situation of workers and their families.
TUCP president Raymond Mendoza described the action of the Labor department as insensitive and lacking foresight.
“The least the DOLE can do should have been to elevate the discussion on whether our workers are eating enough and for possible program interventions. But of course, it is so typical of these technocrats and political appointees to be dismissive of workers because of apathy and to even scramble to do so ahead of the employers is classic anti-workers act of the Department of the Labor and Employment,” Mendoza said.
“They seem more than satisfied with themselves that the current minimum daily wage can already provide workers and their families with instant noodles, canned sardines, tocino, longganisa, itlog na maalat, itlog at pandesal and unli rice,” he added.
Based on the 2018 Poverty and Food Threshold findings of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a family of five can live on a monthly income of P10,481.
The PSA sets the allocation for food and non-alcoholic beverage at 42.5 percent of the P537 minimum daily wage.
Mendoza said this translates to a daily meal budget of only P150.79, or approximately P50 per meal per day for a family of five or a budget of only P10 per family member per meal.
“DOLE’s claim of lack of supervening event is borne out of ignorance and insensitivity. DOLE is content that as long as minimum wages are equal to that poverty threshold or a little higher, then all is well with the worker regardless of whether they are hungry or malnourished,” he said.
“They are not mindful of having a realistic nutritional benchmark in wage-setting in relation to problems on malnutrition and health, such as kidney problem which as DOH reported is on the rise resulting to one death every hour, and these are not supervening event,” Mendoza added.
Meanwhile, Labor chief Silvestre Bello III said more than 4,000 workers were hired on the spot while less than 26,000 were considered hired on Labor Day in the massive jobs and business fair held in 31 sites nationwide.
Bello thanked employers who made available more than 204,000 local and overseas jobs, including vacancies in various positions in government agencies.
“We are grateful to our employers who participated. Their involvement made the job fair massive and a big success,” Bello said.
The top five occupations with the most number of HOTS or hired-on-the-spots were production worker, service crew, assembler, production operator, and cashier.