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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 31, 2018
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Expedite wage hike plea
decision, RTWPB asked

The head of a local labor group in Negros Occidental is asking the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board to expedite action on their petition to increase wages in Western Visayas as the price of fuel products continues to increase.

Wennie Sancho, Secretary-General of General Alliance of Workers Association who also sits in the RTWPB as the labor sector representative, said yesterday that the longer the workers have to wait for the petition to be approved, the more it prolongs the agony of the workers.

Earlier, the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (PACIWU) filed a petition asking for a P150 daily wage hike for workers in commercial and industrial firms with more than 10 employees;

P140 for those working in agricultural plantations that are more than 24 hectares and above, and P130 for those employed in agricultural plantations24 hectares and below, and in commercial establishments with 10 employees and less.

“There should be an immediate action from the wage board as some of the labor organizations are just waiting of it to be approved,” he said.

Wage Order No. 23 that took effect March 16, 2017, set wages in Western Visayas for Non-Agriculture/Industrial/Commercial firms employing more than 10 workers at P323.50 a day and for those employing 10 workers and below at 271.50.

However, Sancho said that RTWBP need not wait for a year to issue a new wage order as nothing could stop the continuing price increase of fuels now that the tax reform for acceleration and inclusion (TRAIN) law has been implemented.

“Immediate action for immediate relief for workers in the Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, should be taken,” he said.

Earlier, Regional director, Johnson Cañete, of the Department of Labor and Employment said that more petitions from all labor stakeholders to increase wages should be made before they will be deliberated on by the RTWPB.

Cañete, who also chairs the RTWPB, said that they already received a PACIWU petition and will wait for other labor groups and stakeholders, like employers groups, to file their petitions.

On February 20, RTWPB will held a consultation with the management/employer sector to lay down the petition from PACIWU, Sancho said. *MLG



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