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National Wage Coalition: Filipino workers demand pro-wage hike vote in the house of the people

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines - TUCP

As the House of Representatives adjourns its session, the burning demand of the Filipino workers for the long-overdue and much-deserved wage increase of at least ₱150 calls for attention by their respective Representatives in Congress.

We workers are not faceless and nameless, we are your friends, your neighbors, and your relatives. You know our struggle to survive daily. What other proof is needed to show that an increase of ₱150 is a matter of survival?

The stunting of our children’s growth is prevalent. We desire and strive for a decent life. Education, medicine, and a hearty meal are just a few reasons among multitudes why we labor, despite the struggles of our jobs. We utilize our capabilities and skills for the development of institutions, establishments, and businesses not simply for meeting individual and organizational key performance indicators, but because we need to survive, and more importantly, we deserve to live meaningfully and decently. Unfortunately, a decent life is a far-flung reality for millions of hardworking Filipinos, as we continue to face poverty or the risk of it.

Today, the authors of the proposed legislated wage hike express the resounding call for the urgent approval, especially by the House Committee on Labor and Employment, of this long-overdue and much-deserved pay raise. Together with our workers’ champions in Congress, the Filipino people, especially workers and our families, who voted our leaders into power, call on our honorable legislators as Representatives of the People to vote for the passage of the legislated wage hike as the House of the People’s response to the day-to-day survival crisis of hunger and poverty of every Filipino working family today.

The numbers speak for themselves as revealed by the IBON Foundation: the average minimum wage is a mere fraction of the estimated family living wage and the average value of today’s regional minimum wages is 22% less than their value 34 years ago. The perpetuation of more than three decades of dismal track record of the regional wage boards in setting poverty starvation wages has led to the value of labor disproportionately devalued against their wages. 35 years is too long a wait for Congress to step in amid the non-performance of the regional wage boards in its mandate to set minimum wages that “shall be as nearly adequate as is economically feasible to maintain the minimum standards of living necessary for the health, efficiency and general well-being of the employees within the framework of the national economic and social development program” and ultimately the Constitutional mandate that all workers shall be entitled to living wages.

The resounding clamor of the working class of this nation led by the National Wage Coalition, spearheaded by Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition (NAGKAISA!) and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), once again demands the House of Representatives and its Committee on Labor and Employment to vote in favor of the proposed legislated wage hike measures. In addition to our significant majority of workers’ champions of the legislated wage hike in the House Committee on Labor, the Coalition urges the support of many more honorable members of the House of the People. We call on you to be true stewards of the people, as we demand – DAGDAG SAHOD, ISABATAS! ₱150 PATAAS!

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