‘Minimum wage in Western Visayas scandalously short of workers’ needs’

Sugarcane workers in Bago City.*

The recent extraordinary increases in the price of petroleum products is a big blow to the economic existence of the workers in Western Visayas, Wennie Sancho, General Alliance of Workers Association secretary general, said Thursday, March 17.

This “supervening condition” or event would contribute to the downward pressure on the rate of the minimum wage earners, particularly for those who are at the lower end of the wage scale, said Sancho, who is also the labor representative on the Regional Wage Board, in a press statement.

The current minimum wage of P395 per day could no longer protect the vulnerable workers from the onslaught of price increases, with the erosion of their purchasing power, he said.

Increasing wages is the most effective way of improving the lives of the workers, Sancho said.

“There is no other way at the moment to boost the wages of the workers, except, through a substantial and adequate wage increase in Western Visayas. We are urging the Regional Wage Board to act with urgency. Time is of the essence. Labor will push for an adequate amount of wage increase,” he added.*

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