BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The labor sector in Western Visayas is giving the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board until April 8 to resolve the P25-Pandemic Emergency Relief Assistance (Pera).
In case the RTWPB fails to resolve the issue regarding the PERA on that day, the labor groups will push through with their plans to file for a P70 wage hike instead, labor representative Wennie Sancho, said.
Sancho said the RTWPB must act immediately on the implementation of PERA, considering the current plight of the laborers especially in Western Visayas.
He said the unemployment rate in the country in January this year covers 9.1 percent of the population or 322,900 individuals while it was only 5.6 percent on the same period last year, representing 181,805 people.
Sancho also said that underemployment, or those working outside their supposed field, reached 659,493 in January this year or 21.11 percent of the population, while last year’s data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that only 402,284 individuals or 12.9 percent of the populace were underemployed in the same period.
During a recent virtual meeting, RTWPB deferred for the third time the petition for PERA because of the absence of statistical data from the National Economic Authority.
But Sancho said the data provided by the PSA and the Regional statistics economic situation is already enough proof that indeed there is a need to grant the PERA.
In the Western Visayas, minimum wage workers currently earn from P310 to P395 per day depending on their classification, while the daily pay hike provided for employees among non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees is P30 under Wage Order 25.*