Labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) on Friday called for wage hikes and a new round of cash assistance.
Rene Magtubo, PM national chairperson, said the working poor and unemployed Filipinos need immediate relief amid the spikes in prices of food and job losses.
The group said a P100 across-the-board wage hike for workers will help recover the lost purchasing power, adding that the nominal wage of P537 in Metro Manila has already been eroded to P434 in real wage terms.
Families of the unemployed and informal workers, PM said, should also be given a cash assistance of P10,000 a month.
“Poor Filipinos are reeling from the double whammy of job losses and price increases. No wonder the number of Filipino families going hungry ballooned to 7.6 million according to the September, 2020, Social Weather Station survey,” Magtubo said in a statement.
“This is due to the combo of forced leaves, mass layoffs, and price hikes. Thus, cash must be put in the pockets of the working poor, the jobless, and the hungry,” he added.
On January 20, the Kilusang Mayo Uno also called for a wage hike citing the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.
Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary general, said workers urgently need and deserve the wage hike especially now that prices of commodities and services, primarily food products, are at an all-time high and workers need proper nutrition to develop greater immunity to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and other illnesses.
“It has been a long time already as there have been a pandemic, and typhoons, but the salaries remain nailed to the ground,” he said.
“Everything has become more expensive but the government remains unmoved in wanting to help the workers survive,” added Adonis.
According to the group, the last wage hike in the National Capital Region was issued in November, 2018, placing the NCR minimum wage at P537.