Labor groups say P30 COLA hike 'not enough'

Posted at 05/18/12 1:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Labor groups on Friday expressed dismay over what they described as a measly increase in the salary of workers in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), which has been calling for a P90 daily wage hike, said the P30 increase in the cost of living allowance (COLA) for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila is not enough to satisfy the daily needs of the average Filipino family living in the country’s capital.

Under the approved wage scheme, the previous COLA of P22 will be integrated into the basic pay of workers. This will raise the daily minimum wage in the NCR from P404 to P426.

“Based on the study of the government, the average Filipino family living in Metro Manila needs P993 daily in order to satisfy the basic needs of its members,” Tanjusay said in Filipino.

The P30 COLA increase will be implemented in two tranches.

The first tranche of P20 will be implemented 15 days after publication. The remaining P10 will follow 6 months after.

After the full implementation of the additional COLA, workers in the NCR will get an increase of around P900 a month.

Meanwhile, militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), which is calling for an even higher daily wage increase of P125, also criticized the government for supposedly ignoring the plight of the workers.

"The amount is ridiculously small, grossly inadequate, and utterly insulting. Once again, the Philippine government shows that it gives more importance to the interests of big business rather than the interests of the workers. Even more insulting is that the small amount comes in two tranches. Maliit na nga, installment pa!” the group said in a statement.

Kilusang Mayo Uno, meanwhile, also echoed BAYAN and TUCP’s calls for a significant wage increase and expressed its support for a legislated wage hike.

Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano had filed House Bill 375, which seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage increase nationwide.