Labor group pushes for P710 wage hike for Metro Manila workers

Maris Federez   •   April 29, 2019   •   1809

A labor group has filed a petition before the National Capital Region Wage Board seeking a 710-peso wage increase for Metro Manila workers.

The Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said the petition, if approved, will guarantee a minimum wage of P1245 for NCR private sector workers from the former P537.

“Hindi pwedeng noodles tapos dadamihan ng tubig tapos sardinas isang can dadamihan natin ng tubig. Para dumami para sa lima na miyembro ng pamilya. Ang sinasabi namin dito anong pagkain ng pamilya ang tama, sapat at nakakapagpalusog, [Living on a pack of noodles or a can of sardines added with plenty of water for a family of five is not acceptable. What we are pointing out here is the right, sufficient and healthy food for a family],” stressed Eva Arcos, the national vice president for education and information of the Associated Labor Union.

Luis Manuel Corral, the vice president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, also said, “nakikita namin na ang [we notice that the] inflation numbers at [and the] GDP data sometimes don’t relate to the reality of worker’s needs on the ground.”

The group based their petition on the study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Ateneo Policy Center that stated that a family of four must have a budget of P734 for food per day, while a family of five must allocate a budget of P917 for their whole day’s food consumption.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines, however, contradicted the petition saying it’s only been a year since the Wage Board has approved a salary increase for private workers.

The group is confident that the board will not approve the petition.

In November last year, the Wage Board approved a 25-peso salary increase for Metro Manila workers. – Maris Federez (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Duterte’s endorsement of candidate, a game-changer — analyst  

Maris Federez   •   December 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An endorsement from an incumbent president provides a huge advantage to a candidate.

For the coming national and local elections, an endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte can be a game changer for a candidate and change the status of his or her candidacy, according to political analyst and senior research fellow of the Ateneo Policy Center Atty. Michael Henry Yusingco.

“But definitely kapag naendorso ka ng isang politico, especially if that is the incumbent president who enjoys the high popularity rating, it’s going to be a big boost. But is it going to bring victory? Of course, it’s not,” Yusingco said.

He added that, with the country’s political climate, being a game changer will still depend on how much the President will put on as support to his chosen candidate.

“So yung power nung endorsement to be a game-changer will depend on the willingness and enthusiasm of President Duterte to work hard for the candidate that he wants to endorse,” Yusingco said.

Yusingco explained that a candidate’s chance of winning does not only depend on the mere endorsement of the President, but also on what he or she is capable of.

“Siyempre yung endorsement din naman is also dependent on the quality of the candidate he wants to endorse. Kumbaga wala namang kwenta ang endorsement kung walang kwenta ang kandidato na ieendorso niya. Meaning, wala namang chance of winning at all,” Yusingco said.

Following Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go’s withdrawal of his candidacy for president in the 2022 national elections, opinions rise on who President Duterte will choose to endorse and give his support.

To date, the president is yet to announce his chosen presidential aspirant who he thinks will continue the reforms and programs he has started. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Employers urge IATF to place NCR under alert level 2

Maris Federez   •   November 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several business owners are calling on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to place the National Capital Region under alert level 2.

This is after the nation’s capital registered around 3,000 new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on Monday.

The group perceived this as a start of the declining number of new cases as a result of the government’s vaccination rollout.

“Dapat binaba na yan noon pang September after August (noong) binago ang sistema. Wala na akong nakikitang rason kung bakit ang dami pang hindi makapagtrabaho, ang dami pang hindi makapasok, said Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr, President of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP).

The group calls on the government to allow them to adjust their operation amid the pandemic, noting that they do not see any reason why Metro Manila should not be placed under a lower alert level.

“Yung cases on its own wala namang ginagawang espesyal. Tuloy-tuloy lang naman ang bakuna. Wala namang nagawang espesyal e bumababa na talaga palagay ko for obvious reason na may cycle din siguro. At saka nagkakaroon ng immunity dahil sa vaccine siguro,” Ortiz-Luis said.

ECOP believes that should the economy fully open, businesses will have the opportunity to recover from their losses brought by the COVID-19 crisis.

The government’s technical advisory group on COVID-19, however, said they still need to further study the proposal.

“Kailangan po talagang pag-aralan yan. Alam naman natin very dynamic naman ang ating IATF sa pagtingin ng numbers. Yung number sa data graph ang important po. Yung on the ground po. Yung MMDA mayors na tinitingnan po talaga kung paano nagbibehave ang mga tao,” said Dr. Edsel Salvana of the DOH-Technical Advisory Group.

Malacañang, on its part, appeals to the public not to be too complacent amid the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the need to observe the minimum health protocol is still the same.

“Bagamat ang datos nagpapakita nga po na maaaring magbaba sa alert level ang Metro Manila, importante huwag tayong magpabaya. Huwag tayong mag-isip na walang pandemya. Nandiyan pa rin si COVID-19. Magpatuloy pa tayo at lalong paigtingin ang mask, hugas, iwas,” he reiterated.

On the other hand, should the IATF approve the placement of NCR under Alert Level 2 in mid-November, business establishments will also be allowed to operate with up to 50% indoor capacity and 70% capacity outdoors. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Business recovery very likely as restrictions ease — employers group

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is confident that businesses will be able to recover soon as alert level restrictions begin to ease in selected areas in the country.

ECOP said that business owners are seeing gradual recovery from losses as protocols to counter the spread of COVID-19 relax.

“Kapag nagnonormal yung restrictions mag-uumpisa nang kumita ang mga iyan,” said ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

Ortiz-Luis added that it is now time for the government to allow companies to operate with a larger percentage of their workforce to help them recover.

He said all it takes for them is to implement stricter health protocols in their areas of employment.

Employers must also not make vaccination status a basis for accepting employees returning for work.

“Kapag tinanong mo meron din ilan-ilang nagpa-positve sa workplace eh. Pero kapag ininspeksiyon mo saan nakuha, hindi naman doon sa workplace eh. Nakuha sa paghanap ng sasakyan, pagpila sa kung ano-anong pinipilahan,” Ortiz-Luis said.

“Napakaraming pila: pila sa ayuda, pila sa COMELEC, pila sa paghanap ng sasakyan, paglalakad, pagtitipon, paghahanap ng pagkain. Doon nakukuha. Hindi sa workplace. Bakit hindi mo papasukin?” he added.

However, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stressed that vaccination, alongside the efficient implementation of quarantine restrictions, is still the key to economic recovery.

“The continued decline in COVID-19  infection cases owing to the speedier COVID vaccine rollout and more effective granular lockdown will help underpin the economy’s gradual reopening,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Currently, the National Capital Region is under Alert Level 3 until the end of October, wherein several business establishments have been allowed to operate with limited capacity. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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