MANILA - The country's biggest labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) on Monday slammed the P25 salary increase for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila, saying it was "plucked from the air".
ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said the wage increase is inadequate and unjust to workers amid the rising cost of living in the country due to TRAIN law.
"'Yung P25 wage increase ay napakaliit. Hindi po ito makakatulong para maihaon natin 'yung mga naghihirap na mga manggagawa na tumatanggap ng minimum wage," he told "Bandila sa DZMM."
New minimum wage rates pegged to P500 to P537 across different sectors in the National Capital Region were announced Monday.
The increase was way below from P334 per day that ALU-TUCP had asked for.
Tanjusay said the wage hike will not offer any relief and may only trigger widespread discontent among workers.
"Sa haba-haba po ng panahon ay palaging manggagawa nalang ang nagsasakripisyo at yung mga negosyo, mga negosyante, ay umuunlad," he said.
Tanjusay alleged the government and businesses are conniving, making workers again as sacrificial lambs.
"Patunay lamang ito na ang gobyerno at ang mga employer ay nagsabwatan na at muli na namang isasakripisyo 'yung mga manggagawa," he said.
Tanjusay has called on the government to dissolve the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, which is composed of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and representatives from worker and employer sectors.
"Hindi na po relevant ang ating wage board... Sila dapat ang magbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa mga manggagawa to make sure na ang kanilang sahod ay kayang makabuhay ng isang pamilya ng maayos at desente," he said.
He added, "In this case, hinugot na lang po sa hangin ang P25 increase at walang computation o formula na binabanggit ang DOLE at wage board."
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said the wage increase could still be changed depending on economic conditions.
"There has been a deliberation on the wage board, and apparently that’s the decision," he said.
"Perhaps, presently that is what they found out, that’s enough," Panelo added.