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BCCI to redo its 'zero wage hike' to consider BALO’s P100 increase

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 30 (PIA) – The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry is expected to redo its position paper opting for a zero wage hike in the context that they did not get any copy of position papers from the labor sector asking for the same wage hike.

During the recent wage hearing which the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) conducted August 10 at the Kew Hotel, BCCI Executive Officer Rolaine Uy said this time, the chamber did not get any copy of any petition seeking a wage hike, something that did not happen in the past.

The local chamber of commerce and industry would receive a copy of all petitions days before the set wage hearing.

The petition becomes an input for the local business group to base their pitches on the amount of increase or argue on the position their members agree.

On that same wage hearing, Bohol Alliance of Labor Organizations (BALO), represented by its president Bernardo Bihag and in alliance with 10 other organizations and unions in Central Visayas, sought for a P100 increase for non-agriculture and agriculture sectors, service and retail establishments employing 15 workers or less, and manufacturing industries regularly employing less than 10 workers.

Along with Partido Mangagawa, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, GlobalWear Employees Union, Association of Globalwear Supervisory Employees, MEPZ Workers Alliance, Workers Organization of Lami Foods, Prince Warehouse Club Mandau employees Union-Law, Ilaw-Buklod Ng Mangagawa  United Miners of Carmen Copper, KEPCO Cebu Employees Union, Workers Solidarity Network, Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa sa General Milling Corporation, the alliance is hoping for the P10 increase citing the said increase in inflation rate.

The alliance argued that the P31 wage increase that the RTWPB allowed in Wage Order ROVII-23 in June 2022 easily covered the increase in living costs.

They said that a minimum wage worker in Region 7 is not being paid enough to keep up with the average expenses of the individual in their income class.

“When adjusted to October 2022 inflation, the P435 minimum wage in the region already lost at least P76, and based on economic projections, shall continue to lose more within this year and in the next several months,” their petition tagged as R0700-2304-PWI-003 stated.

Citing the Philippine Statistics Authority’s data in 2021, they claimed that at least P12,030 was then needed to meet a household’s barest monthly food and non-food requirements.

The current rate of P435 in Region 7 only amounts to P8,700 monthly income if a laborer works five days a week.

With this, the petitioners is seeking for the RTWPB to consider wage adjustments in relation to the consumer price index, cost of living and the changes therein, the needs of workers and their families, and the improvements in the standard of living.

The petitioners also said that the increase in minimum wage stems from the need of the minimum wage earner to afford a dignified life as a common worker.

Having heard this, the BCCI is expected to resubmit a position paper now based on the figure that the BALO and its allied labor unions proposed.

According to RTWPB Vice Chair and Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Maria Elena Arbon, the Board would still be openly accepting petitions for wage increase in the region until the last working hour of August 18. (RAHC/PIA7 Bohol)

Bohol Alliance of Labor Organizations President Bernardo Bihag says the minimum wage here does not allow a laborer and his family to get past the poverty threshold. (PIA Bohol)

About the Author

Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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