Davao wage hike deemed not enough

Subscribe Now May 01, 2012 at 09:29pm

Vice-Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte yesterday conceded that the P15 cost-of-living allowance (CoLA)approved in December last year by the regional tripartite wage and productivity board for Davao Region’s private sector workers is not enough to cover the basic needs of their families. The board approved a P15 CoLA, which was to be implemented in two tranches: the P5 took effect last Jan. 1 and the second tranche took effect yesterday.

That brought the daily minimum wage for private sector workers in the region to P270-301.

"How much is the (public transport) fare now? And we have so many kilometers in the city. If you want to have impact on food (affordability) and improve the daily lives of workers, I think the adjustment should be P70," Mr. Duterte told journalists here.

But Joffrey T. Suyao, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment and chairman of the Regional Tripartite Wage Productivity Board-11, said the adjustment underwent a tedious process of consultations and studies.

Aside from two public hearings on Wage Order No. 17 in Tagum City and Davao City in December last year, representatives of national government offices like the National Economic and Development Authority and Department of Trade and Industry, as well as of employers’ groups and workers unions, were asked to submit their position papers and studies on what they think is the right amount of wage hike, Mr. Suyao added.

As with wage hike petitions elsewhere in the country, the issue is characterized by a deep divide between workers, who argue that approved floor wages are never enough to cover basic needs of their families, and employers who say higher minimum pay would force them to scale down production or close shop altogether, resulting in massive lay-offs.

Source: bworldonline.com

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