AFTER filing a petition earlier this week before the Central Visayas wage board for a P386 minimum wage increase, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has demanded more pay hikes in three different regions.

The TUCP said in a statement on Friday that it filed three different wage petitions before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) of Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4-A (CALABARZON covering Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), and Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), “emphasizing urgent attention to prevalence of nutrition deficiency among Filipino workers and their families due to severely diminished take home pay.”

A P768 across-the-board wage increase for private sector minimum wage earners was petitioned before the Central Luzon and CALABARZON wage boards, while P782 was demanded in the Northern Mindanao RTWPB.

Daily minimum wages in each of the regions are at P284-P400 for Central Luzon; P303-P400 for CALABARZON; and P331-365 for Northern Mindanao.

The labor group used the Pinggang Pinoy model as one of their basis for the wage hike petition. The Pinggang Pinoy model is a framework that provides the prescribed nutrition needed for Filipinos daily.

“Using DOST’s Pinggang Pinoy model and the March 2019 PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) Media Service Market Price of Selected Commodities, Ateneo Policy Center calculates daily food requirement in the amount of P734.00 for a family of four or P61.17/meal/person. A family of five would then require a daily right food budget of P917.50,” the petitions said.

“If we continue to ignore the fact that workers and their families subsist on nutritionally deficient meals for a long period, we will all definitely have bigger problems if we have vast army of undernourished Filipino workers which is detrimental to the country that prided itself with skilled, dynamic and perceptive workers not to mention the cost of healthcare,” TUCP President Raymond C. Mendoza said in a statement.

Late last month, TUCP filed for a wage hike petition of P710 for Metro Manila private sector minimum wage earners on top of the P500-P537 daily salary.

The labor group said the petition was denied by the NCR RTWPB this week, but the Metro Manila wage board has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Under the law, wage hike petitions can only be entertained after at least 12 months since an issuance of a region’s wage order unless there is a supervening condition observed by the wage board which is subject to approval of the National Wages and Productivity Commission.

Central Luzon issued their last wage order on Aug. 1, while Northern Mindanao’s wage order took effect last Nov. 1, both under the prescribed 12-month period before a wage board issues an increase.

Meanwhile, CALABARZON’s last wage order already had its anniversary last April 28. — G.M. Cortez