Casiño wants regional wage boards investigated for ‘libing wages’

MAKABAYAN senatorial candidate Teddy Casino on Sunday reiterated his call for Congress to look into the inhumanely low wage rates imposed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards following the announcement of a measly P10 wage increase in the form of Cost of Living Allowances (COLA).

Labor and youth groups earlier dubbed the P10 additional COLA as “walang kabuhay-buhay” and a reinforcement of “libing wage” because of its large disparity from the daily family living wage pegged at P993.

Casiño is the author of House Resolution no. 1238 titled: “A Resolution Directing the Committee on Labor and Employment to Conduct an Investigation, in aid of legislation, on the Implementation of Republic Act no. 6726 or Wage Rationalization Act in view of the Inhumanely Low Wage Rates being Imposed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards.”

“The low regional wage rates have not uplifted the lives of Filipino workers nor have ensured them a decent standard of living. With the simultaneous price hikes during the past months, Filipinos are further burdened into trying to make ends meet,” he said.

“The current daily minimum wage rates of non-agriculture workers at P228 to P446 and agriculture workers at P190 to P409 are way below and not even half of the pegged family living wage of P993,” Casiño added.

“Ang masaklap pa nito, barya-barya na nga lang, installment pa,” the progressive lawmaker noted, pointing out that the increase is the second tranche of a P30 COLA increase implemented this year.

“Ngayon, pag nag-increase ng pasahe sa MRT at LRT, parang wala nang bearing yung increase. If the MRT/LRT fare will increase by P10, the P10 additional COLA would not even be enough to cover a single-journey ticket which will probably cost around P20 to P25.”

“The point is, the government may take pride in giving alms and dole-outs to our citizens, but what they really need is regular employment and a just wage system,” Casino said.

He said it is preposterous that the country has around a thousand wage levels differing per region and per industry.

“This inquiry is long overdue. We filed HR 1238 on May 11, 2011. In the light of this latest development, we hope the Labor Committee can can schedule a hearing immediately,” he said.

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