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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 1, 2018
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15 groups back wage hike bid


About 15 labor groups in Negros Occidental submitted a manifesto to support the bid to increase wages in Western Visayas by P150 to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board yesterday during a consultation meeting on wages at the Sugar Workers Development Center in Bacolod City.

Secretary General Wennie Sancho of the General Alliance of Workers Association, said yesterday that the manifesto was made in support to the petition filed by Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (PACIWU-TUCP) to increase the wages of private workers in Western Visayas by P150 daily.

The manifesto states that this is due to the unabated increase in the prices of basic goods and services caused by the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

Sancho and Hernane Braza, national president of PACIWU-TUCP, sit as the representatives of the labor sector in the RTWPB, which is chaired by Department of Labor and Employment-Western Visayas Director Johnson Cañete.

It also added that the wage issue should not be lightly brushed aside, as it is “compelling in its character.”

It also said that the labor groups have no option, but they are compelled to confront the worsening economic condition as it continues to erode workers’ purchasing power.

Sancho read the manifesto during the consultation of the current wage order implemented in the region yesterday.

Present at the activity were Regional Director Ro-ann Bacal of the National Economic Development Authority, Cañete, labor groups and organizations in Panay and Negros, and Luis Estrella, who represents the management sector in the wage board.

Members of RTWPB received the manifesto of the labor group during the event.

A representative from thewage board also presented the economic profile of Western Visayas that said the average wage in the region is already P400 daily, based on records from the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2017.

The presentation also said that there are 1.9 million in the labor force of the Western Visayas, and 1.8M of them are already employed, and 110,000 unemployed.

Cañete also said in an interview yesterday that, despite the manifesto submitted, it is still too early to decide on whether to hike wages or not, as the decision should come from the tripartite members and other concerned government agencies.

They will set up a public hearing this month to get a bigger picture of the petition, adding that deliberation will still be conducted after all these consultations in the region, he added.*MLG


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