ILOILO City – Militant Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Panay slams Department of Labor and Employment VI Wage Order No. 23 which increases the daily minimum wage in Panay, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental of commercial, industrial and agricultural plantation workers by P25, and agricultural non-plantation workers by P15.
The group said the wage order is a loose change, a meager increase vis-à-vis the current IBON Foundation’s estimate of P1,119 family living wage for a family of five.
With the increase, the daily minimum wage of commercial and industrial workers from P298.50 will be P323.50, of agricultural plantation from P266.50 will be P291.50, and of agricultural non-plantation from 256.50 will be P271.50.
“Even with the increase, it cannot compensate with the ever-rising day-to-day expenses of a family of five, from food which averages already at a minimum of P300/day, transportation costs, water and electric bills, house rent, school payments, and health-related expenses,” KMU Panay chairperson Elmer Forro said.
In Region VI, the last wage increase was in 2015 at P11.50.
Wage increase in regions is subject under DOLE’s Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB), comprised by the employer’s group, the worker’s group and the local government unit.
However, Forro, who also serves as secretary general of Bayan Panay, said that the DOLE and the RTWPB ever since have favored the interest of the employers.
“Philippine Chamber of Commerce Industries (PCCI) – Iloilo and other big monopoly businesses in Region VI can pay much more than P25 if we look into the profit margins they are making,” reacted Forro to the statement of PCCI’s difficulty to comply with the P25 wage increase.
Forbes 2016 data shows Henry Sy of SM Malls has a net worth of P633.6B and John Gokongwei of Robinson’s Malls has P255.2B.
In Iloilo, Uygongco of Foremost Corporation owns and operates one of the biggest flour and hog feeds factory in the country. Edgar Sia, an Ilonggo who started Mang Inasal and now a part-owner of Double Dragon Properties, has a net worth of P60.4B.
KMU Panay instead called for the immediate P125/day across the board wage increase, the closure of RTWPB, and the full realization of the P750/day national minimum wage.
The group proposed the building of state-owned steel and oil industries as the solution to unemployment in the country and the concurrent low wage workers receive. (panaytoday.net)