WV workers’ situation remain ‘precarious’

April 30, 2022 by No Comments

IT’S unfortunate that as we are about to celebrate Labor Day on Sunday, May 1, the economic situation of the laborers in Western Visayas in general remains “precarious.”This was the lamentation of Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), saying that the wages have not kept up with the increases of fuel, basic goods and services.What is clear, however, is that the minimum remains inadequate to support a decent standard of living for the workers and their families, Sancho said.Citing data from the Regional Wage Board and the Philippine Statistics Authority, he said that workers need an average of about P2,857 in additional income to move out of the poverty line in the first quarter of 2021.The grim economic prediction is that the prices of petroleum products will never go down due to the volatile trend of prices of crude oil in the world market and the worsening situation in Ukraine, he added.Negros Occidental-based labor group General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa) also lamented the non-implementation of the wage increase.Sancho, who is also the secretary general of Gawa, said that he already communicated with RTWPB chairperson lawyer Sixto Rodriguez as early as March 7, 2021 through a “Worker’s Manifesto” which is the embodiment of the miserable plight of the existence of a “supervening condition” as primordial factor in the issuance of a wage increase.RTWPB scheduled the hearings for the salary increase petition on April 8 in Negros occidental, April 11 in Iloilo and April 12 in Aklan with a schedule for wage deliberation on April 22 and 23 but was later moved on April 28 and 29, this year.Unfortunately after April 12, Sancho noted, they were informed that the wage deliberations schedules would not push through due to the unavailability of the board members representing the management and the government sectors.“It seems that the process of minimum wage fixing was going on full speed because there was a marching order from the labor secretary,” he claimed.*