The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Western Visayas (RTWPB-6) will hold public consultations on the proposed Pandemic Emergency Relief Assistance (PERA) in the coming weeks.
Labor representative Wennie Sancho said on Wednesday the body will set the schedule of the consultations at their next meeting on March 11.
The granting of the PHP25 PERA was manifested in the labor sector’s position paper dated Oct. 19, 2020.
Sancho, secretary-general of the Negros-based General Alliance of Workers Associations, said the rising cost of living as evidenced in the unabated increases in the prices of basic goods and services is the primary reason for the workers’ demand for another round of wage adjustment.
“It is only proper that the Wage Board should heed the plea of the workers for amelioration before we will be engulfed by the economic recession,” he added.
Sancho said the “motu proprio” move of the RTWPB-6 to evaluate the economic conditions, assess wage rates, and public hearings and consultations relevant to their manifestation on the issue of PERA steps in the right direction.
Earlier, the labor sector announced its plan to push for a PHP80 to PHP100 increase in daily minimum wage workers if the RTWPB-6 will not grant the proposed emergency allowance.
Current minimum wage in Western Visayas ranges from PHP310 to PHP395 per day, depending on the sectoral classification.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Sancho said as of January 2021, the purchasing power of the peso is PHP0.77.
He said this means that the nominal daily wage of PHP395 for commercial and industrial workers is worth or equivalent to only PHP304.15 in terms of real wage.
A worker in the private sector is losing about PHP90.85 per day due to the erosion of his purchasing power, which is about 2- percent reduction from his daily income, Sancho added.
Each RTWPB is composed of the Department of Labor and Employment regional director as ex-officio chairman; regional directors of the National Economic Development Authority and Department of Trade and Industry as ex-officio vice-chairmen; and, two representatives each from the worker and employer sectors as members.
Source: Philippines News Agency