THE Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) on Tuesday filed a petition seeking to increase the daily minimum wage in Central Luzon to P820 from P420, in line with petitions filed with other regional wage boards.

The TUCP said in a statement that the current P420 daily wage in Central Luzon is no longer sufficient to provide workers a decent living.

It said the region’s current daily wage was set almost three years ago, “when the regional wage board granted a measly P20.00 increase in 2019 which had been long dissipated by the succeeding price increases since that year.”

The TUCP said that with the rising prices of food and other essentials, the current minimum wage in the region “can only accord them and their families with nutritionally deficient survival meals.” 

“With the current minimum wage in Region III, a measly P15 per meal can be allocated per member of the family,” it said. “What kind of food can be bought for P15 nowadays?”

The TUCP said the minimum wage in Central Luzon puts earners and their families well below the poverty threshold of P16,226.00 per month The minimum wage implies monthly income of P10,920.00, or P9,570.55 when adjusted for inflation.

“Poverty incidence among families in Central Luzon is in the double digits except in Pampanga with 6.2% poverty rate,” it said, citing government data.

It said that the poverty rate was estimated at 24% in Aurora, 12.8% in Bataan, 14.9% in Bulacan, 17% in Nueva Ecija, 13.2% in Tarlac, and 22% in Zambales. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza